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Global business leaders to support transit to a low carbon future
29/ 09/ 2010

Global business leaders to support transit to a low carbon futureMexico City (Mexico), 27 September 2010 - Leaders from influential global corporations and key global environmental organizations are expected to call on countries to make a success of this years UN climate negotiations in Mexico.

The call will come from a Business for Environment (B4E) conference to be held 4 to 5 October in Mexico City. The event today was announced by the Mexican Minister of Environment Juan Rafael Elvira, UN Under-Secretary General and Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Achim Steiner, the Director General of WWF-Mexico Omar Vidal and the Chief Executive of Global Initiatives, Tony Gourlay.

B4E will raise the global business voice ahead of the 16th Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP16), at Cancun, from 29 November to 10 December.

Mr Steiner said: "There remains a serious and significant greenhouse gap between the ambition of nations and the science. This needs to be bridged if the world is to have a chance of keeping a global temperature rise under 2 degrees C. Cancun offers the next opportunity to accelerate a transition to a low carbon, Green Economy. One option is to address non-CO2 pollutants such as methane and black carbon -these represent low hanging fruit with potentially immediate benefits for climate as well as for public health to agricultural production".

In a declaration to be finalized at the talks, company and civil society leaders are expected to urge the governments of the world to make the climate negotiations in Cancun a success and call for creation of legal frameworks for a rapid transition to a low carbon economy.

Key note speakers include Al Gore, the former US Vice President and global advocate for climate action, Barbara Kux, Chief Sustainability Officer at Siemens AG, Daniel Servitje, Chief Executive Officer, Grupo Bimbo, George Kell, Executive Director of the UN Global Compact, Juan Rafael Elvira Quesada, Secretary of Environment of Mexico, Georgina Kessel, Secretary of Energy of Mexico, and James Leape, Director-General and CEO of WWF International.

Hundreds of international delegates from business, government and NGOs are expected to emphasize the opportunities and conditions under which a climate-resilient world could become also a fairer and in the end more prosperous world. In five industry working groups -Construction, Transportation and Logistics, Agriculture, Food and Beverage, Technology and Communications, and Energy - leaders will highlight the many examples where the low carbon economy has already started to take shape, and stress the importance to create this new economy in global solidarity.

CEOs and top-level executives will join government leaders, international agencies and civil society organizations to discuss and agree on innovative solutions that ensure a sustainable future for all. The business community will gather to share leading practices and discuss truly innovative solutions and the policy frameworks to catalyze them.

The Minister of Environment and Natural Resources of Mexico, Juan Rafael Elvira Quesada, mentioned that the insights and recommendations of the companies participating in B4E global summit will undoubtly contribute to the negotiations in COP16. He said that in Mexico, the Ministry has strengthened partnerships with the different industry sectors through the Environment Leadership and Competitiveness Program in which common objectives for sustainable development have been achieved. "Increasingly, companies show that mitigation and water treatment action amongst other measures, in addition to contributing to combat climate change, have important savings and make business more competitive", said the Minister.

"Many leading businesses are already acting to reduce their climate impact," said James Leape, Director General of WWF International. "These businesses recognize it makes business sense to be ahead of the curve, to improve the energy efficiency of their operations and to seize emerging opportunities. But, to move the whole economy on to a low-carbon path, we need to level the global playing field, and this requires a binding international climate agreement. Cancun must deliver the next step towards this goal."

"Climate change, rather than just an environmental concern, must be addressed considering its implications for development. The B4E Business Summit comes at a time of great challenges and opportunities for the global economy and I am convinced that the commitments and proposals from the business community will encourage negotiators from the countries participating in the COP16 to reach concrete and ambitious agreements to address climate change and promote sustainable development " said Omar Vidal, Director General of WWF-Mexico.

Notes to Editors:
B4E
B4E is the main conference on Global Business Dialogue and action on the environment and is intended to shape proposals on climate change by the global business community.
To participate in this summit, there are different ways: by attending the event, participation as a sponsor, and / or exhibitor in the discussion boards. For more information see: http://www.b4esummit.com/

The business summit is organized by the United Nations Programme for Environment (UNEP), the United Nations Global Compact, the Government of Mexico, Global Initiatives, and WWF.

Amongst the confirmed participants are Walmart, The Coca-Cola Company, PepsiCo, Hewlett Packard, AP Moeller Maersk, Tata and Sons, DHL, Trina Solar, Toyota, General Motors, Alstom Power, Cemex, Acciona, Danone, Siemens, Nestle, McKinsey, Volvo, Accenture, Hitachi, British Telecom, Pemex, EcoSecurities, IFC, World Food Programme and Schneider Electric.

For more information, please contact:
Nick Nuttall, UNEP Spokesman, +254 (0)733632755 or +41 79 5965737, nick.nuttall@unep.org
Or;
Shereen Zorba, UNEP Newsdesk, +254 713601259, shereen.zorba@unep.org
Orl
Valerie Benguiat, Climate Change Comunicator, WWF-Mexico, +52(55) 52865631 Ext. 225 vbenguiat@wwfmex.org
Or;
Mónica Echeverría, Comunications WWF-US, (202) 4954626, monica.echeverria@wwfus.org

Further Resources
Business for Environment
UNEP: Climate Change
UNEP: Climate Neutral Network
UNEP: Green Economy Initiative
The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB)