Political and business leaders call for action to save climate and economy

Posted at June 19, 2012 » By : » Categories : News » Comments Off on Political and business leaders call for action to save climate and economy

A group of international political and business leaders including former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair have published an open letter calling for coordinated action to save the climate and the economy.

As the Rio+20 international summit gets underway in Brazil, the signatories to The Climate Group letter say a ‘step change’ in investment in renewable energy, clean technology and infrastructure is needed to get the world out of recession and put it on a low-carbon track.

“By the end of the decade, the low carbon market could triple in value to over $2 trillion,” says the letter. “We have an historic opportunity before us to lead the world out of recession and into a more stable, sustainable future. This is the time for a green industrial revolution led by real investment in clean technologies and infrastructure.”

The signatories to the letter are backing the Clean Revolution campaign, a major new initiative from The Climate Group calling for a ‘green growth’ push out of recession.

In a speech screened at Rio, Tony Blair added:
“The Clean Revolution is the expressway to the green economy. It will be a new Industrial Revolution.”

The Climate Group is asking government and business leaders, which already include electronics giant Philips and Asian turbine manufacturer Suzlon, to support strategic investment in clean tech as a solution to climate change and the global recession.

“A Clean Revolution – nothing less – is necessary to put the world on the path to a smarter, better, more prosperous world for all. It’s going to be based on technologies and opportunities available today that could only have been dreamt of at the first Rio Summit 20 years ago,” says The Climate Group’s CEO Mark Kenber.

As part of its efforts, The Climate Group is launching a series of new partnerships aimed at invigorating innovation and capitalising on the potential of ICT to reduce global emissions by up to 15% by 2020.

New partners include Imperial College, global engineering firm Arup, the UK Technology Strategy Board, the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) and the UN Foundation.

Meanwhile, the chief executives of 45 companies including Coca-Cola, GlaxoSmithKline, Nestlé and Shell are calling on representatives at the Rio summit to make water management a top priority.

In a Communiqué published by the UN Global Compact, the companies pledge to improve their water efficiency and waste water management, while working with their suppliers to improve their performance.

The signatories to the Communiqué says they will also work with governments to undertake long-term water planning and make water sustainability a priority, among others.

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Related stories:
Clean energy investment drops to lowest levels since 2009 (29-May)
WWF corporate ‘climate savers’ cut 100 million tonnes of emissions (11-May)
Green power financing flies in face of economic downturn, says KPMG (9-May)
Major businesses call for carbon emission reductions (24-Feb)

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