Copenhagen Climate Conference

The following has been submitted to Blogactiv by ACCA.

Concerning the debate on climate change in the context of the upcoming Copenhagen Conference, ACCA ( the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) would like to share 6 top line messages:

1. Recent projections from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warn that that unless action is taken to cut greenhouse gas emissions, global warming will exceed the danger level of a 2°C increase. According to the IPCC’s worst-case scenario, unless there is urgent action, climate change could reach dangerous levels as early as 2050. Current assessments show that this is likely to happen. Unprecedented action is required nationally, regionally, and internationally to address this.

2. 2009 represents more or less the last chance to achieve an agreement, if the agreement is to be approved and ratified in time for it to come into force after the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012.

3. COP 15 is a watershed moment, and yet hopes for a binding treaty with hard commitments being signed in Copenhagen are low, due in part to the constraints of US domestic politics. However, despite the huge challenge to reach agreement, there are positive signs that real action will be taken, particularly now that US President Barack Obama has signalled US engagement and is introducing domestic legislation on climate change.

4. A key challenge is that as the financial crisis lengthens, there is an increased reluctance by countries to commit resources to climate change policies and taking measures which (in the short-term) will harm the competitiveness of domestic industries. The fight against climate change must remain a priority even in difficult economic times, which could actually provide a golden opportunity to encourage investment in a low-carbon economy, specifically in energy-efficient technologies and renewable energy and in creating lower-carbon growth and green jobs.

5. It is essential, that both the US and the emerging economies are brought into the global framework for combating climate change. For Kyoto’s successor to succeed, both the US and China to have to sign up to it, however, there are major issues here that need to be addressed first. It is also important to acknowledge that there are significant regional variations in terms of the impacts of climate change and it’s often developing nations who are most affected, most vulnerable and least able to adapt to changing weather conditions arising as a result of global warming.

6. Developing a global framework to address climate change needs to be a collaborative effort between government, business, scientists and society, to promote a common understanding across all stakeholder groups of the issues at hand and how they should be addressed.

For further information please contact

Veena Hudson
Head of Public Affairs
Email: Veena.Hudson@accaglobal.com
Telephone: + 44 (0) 20 7059 5615

Rachel Jackson
Head of Sustainability
Email: Rachel.Jackson@accaglobal.com
Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7059 5845

Clive Booth
Director of Public Affairs and Media Relations
Email: Clive.Booth@accaglobal.com
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7059 5511

Note to the editor:
ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is the global body for professional accountants.
We aim to offer business-relevant, first-choice qualifications to people around the world who seek a rewarding career in accountancy, finance and management.
ACCA has 131,500 members and 362,000 students who it supports throughout their careers, providing services through a network of 82 offices and centres around the world.

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Comments

  1. The time for procrastination about climate change has long since passed; the world is in a state of emergency and further inaction is gross negligence. At copenhagen it must be agreed that:
    See: http://www.climatechangecopenhagen.org/

    Because of the global urgency, there must be the political will to strive to contain the rise in temperature to less than 1°C above pre-industrial levels. and strict time frames must be imposed, so that overall global emissions will begin to be reversed as of 2010. There must be a target of 30% below 1990 levels by 2015, 50% below by 2020, 75% by 2030, 85% by 2040 and 100% below by 2050, while adhering to the precautionary principle, the differentiated responsibility principle, and the fair and just transition principle. Under the Framework Convention, every state signatory incurred the obligation to conserve carbon sinks; thus the destruction of sinks, including deforestation and elimination of bogs must end.
    Current research only shows cumulative emission budgets for a 2 °C target, the targets in this submission are based on trying to not be above a 1 °C target.
    If the dangerous level is to be avoided, emission pathways to eliminate CO2 must arrive at the pre-industrial level of 278 ppm at least by 2050.
    This alone is not enough and large scale CO2 elimination must occur.

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