Climate change agreement an ‘exciting opportunity’ for businesses

By Laurence Gibbons contact

- Last updated on GMT

192 countries have committed to reducing the earth's temperature
192 countries have committed to reducing the earth's temperature

Related tags: Climate change

The climate change agreement to prevent the increase of the global average temperature to “well below 2C” has been welcomed as an “exciting opportunity” for businesses, according to the Confederation of British Industry (CBI).

The agreement, which was announced on Saturday to delegates from 192 countries at the Paris Climate Change conference, will come into being by 2020.  The deal is still waiting to be ratified.

The decision made following almost two weeks of debate by world leaders, was praised by CBI director general Carolyn Fairbairn.

We now have a climate deal agreed by the world’s leaders that puts us on a sustainable low-carbon path and which can provide the framework for business to invest with confidence,”​ she said.

The onus will now be on governments to show how they plan to turn this global ambition into national realities, Fairbairn said.

Policies that demonstrate commitment

“Businesses will want to see domestic policies that demonstrate commitment to this goal and none more so than in the UK,”​ she claimed.

What was agreed in Paris

  • Commitment to cut emissions every five years
  • Legally binding treaty on climate change action from 187 countries, staring from 2020
  • Climate funding beyond $100bn up to 2020

“The government must provide a stable environment that enables investment in cleaner, more affordable and more secure energy generation, including renewable technologies and new gas plants.”

The UK needs a level playing field for carbon costs, so that our energy intensive industries can compete effectively in a global, low carbon market place, Fairbairn added.

Secretary of state for energy and climate change Amber Rudd said the agreement was “an important step forward”​ and vital for long-term economic and global security.

‘Unprecedented opportunity’

The United Nations Development Programme also praised the move as “an expression of common resolve to protect our planet”​ and an “unprecedented opportunity to keep the planet safe while also advancing human development.”

“I welcome the historic outcome of the Paris Climate Change Conference announced today which sends a strong signal that countries, rich and poor, are committed to work together to tackle climate change,”​ UNDP administrator Helen Clark said following the announcement of the plan.

“UNDP, together with its partners, stands ready to help translate what has been agreed in Paris into climate action which will make a decisive difference to people and to our planet.”

However, many climate change activists criticised the agreement for only making promises not taking action.

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