UNFCCC Executive Secretary Highlights the Role of Progressive Business in Climate Change

Christiana Figueres, UNFCCC Executive Secretary9 November 2011: Delivering the Robert Schuman Lecture at the Eco-Innovation Summit in Brussels, Belgium, UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres stressed the need for the "full transformation of the global economy onto a low emissions pathway," noting that it can be achieved on a step-by-step basis and needs to be driven by international policy.

After providing an update on the state of play of the climate negotiations, Figueres underscored that progress on the infrastructure-building that Cancun delivered "is encouraging and an important step forward." She added, however, that Cancun "fell short of addressing the real political issues," and called on the upcoming 17th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 17) to the UNFCCC in Durban, South Africa, at the end of 2011, to do so.

She explained that Durban needs to address both further commitments of developed countries under the Kyoto Protocol and the evolution of the mitigation framework under the Convention, while ensuring the differentiated participation of developing countries. Outlining the role of business, she said that progressive business "has the power to change consumer and supplier behavior and turn it into a powerful vocal support that gives policy makers a clearer space in which to act." [Figueres' Statement]