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Gérard Mestrallet's speech at Business & Climate Summit

This is the second time the Business & Climate Summit has been held; it opened on June 28th in London, with Segolene Royal present. The Business & Climate Summit has emerged as the major get-together for the largest companies and international investors involved in the struggle against climate change. Gerard Mestrallet spoke in the final plenary session of the event, on the subject of climate policy, post-COP21.

Discover the main recommendations of Gérard Mestrallet at Business & Climate Summit.

Businesses and investors have a key role to play in the transition to a low-carbon economy and in getting climate change under control. The 2016 Business & Climate Summit echoes the success of the first summit held in Paris in May 2015, at a crucial moment: The historic agreement, obtained at the COP21 in December 2015, must now be translated into real commitments and concrete actions.

Actively engaged in the discussions round the necessary follow-up to the Paris Agreement, notably in his capacity as President of Business Dialogue, Gerard Mestrallet spoke at the plenary on the subject ‘Climate policies in a post-Paris Agreement world’, alongside Paul Polman, President-Director General at Unilever, Sharon Dijksma, the Dutch Minister for the Environment, and Vidar Helgesen, Norway’s Minister for European Affairs.

How can international, national and regional policy support concrete actions from businesses? Gerard Mestrallet brought some elements of the answer to this question, in reminding everyone of the importance of cooperation and dialogue between governments and businesses in the fight against climate change, put into action at the COP21/Business Dialogue, which held its 4th session on June 10th of last year.

Gerard Mestrallet detailed the main recommendations coming from this last session. These are:

  • Governments must rapidly implement resolutions relating to transparency contained in the Paris Agreement, in particular through the harmonisation of methods for greenhouse gas emissions accounting, in order to let companies direct their investments towards low-carbon solutions;
  • Businesses must become more transparent about the way they take risks and opportunities linked to climate change into account in defining their strategy and their actions;
  • Member states belonging to the Conference of the Parties, and businesses, must accelerate the use of carbon pricing in their economies.

To close, Gerard Mestrallet showed what, according to him, is the priority in combatting climate change: across the world, putting price signals in place that promote the objectives fixed by the Parties, in accordance with national and regional policy. The European Union (EU), for example, achieved this when it set up the EU Emissions Trading System.

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