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IETA COP 21 Members Blog: Business matters

10 Dec 2015 10:54 PM | Anonymous

By: Jonathan Grant, PwC

Governments have agreed some of the small stuff and are now focusing on the most contentious issues in the final phase of negotiations. As expected, those issues are finance, loss and damage, the process for raising ambition and the long term goal of 1.5°C or 2°C.

It's significant that the EU and vulnerable countries are starting to work together to support a more ambitious outcome. When signing a €475m development fund earlier this week, the EU and the ACP Group (of 79 African, Caribbean and Pacific states) highlighted their shared positions in the Agreement. This 'coalition of ambition', last seen building the Platform in Durban, might help unlock the deal.

Although the text includes agreement for developed countries to provide finance to developing countries, a lot remains to be resolved. The scale of the commitments range from unspecified amounts to the $100bn per annum already agreed to. There are also references to all countries contributing, developed only or developed plus developing voluntarily. For such a crucial issue as who pays and how for the Paris deal, much remains open.

But it’s also good to see countries reaching agreement on the cooperative measures or markets part of the agreement, which is broadly in line with what business has been calling for. The EU has been actively building alliances across the developed and developing country divide. There's been a different mood this week as countries build new coalitions and forge some compromises.

The two main concerns raised at the BINGO (Business & Industry NGO) meeting this morning were how business is referenced in the Agreement and whether provisions for international emissions trading would be included. The message from the business group to the COP President is clear and made two simple requests. First, an explicit reference to the private sector in the preamble of the Agreement. Currently business and industry is only referred to obliquely as “various actors”. And secondly, the inclusion of internationally transferred mitigation outcomes (the new term for market or cooperative mechanisms) as set out in the current draft Agreement.

Business and industry is a part of the climate solution. Business brings expertise, capability and resources to innovation, R&D, capacity building, education, technology transfer and deployment, and last but not least, finance. But the ability of business to contribute to this international cooperative effort will be limited if its role is not recognised in the agreement.

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