|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||8th December 2008|
Cathay Pacific Airways today announced that it is one of 140 major companies to sign a communiqué that sets out what the companies believe should be the key elements of an international deal on climate change. The Poznan Communiqué was timed to coincide with the start of the second week of the United Nations-led climate negotiations (COP 14) currently taking place in Poznan, Poland, and copies will be delivered to each of the 192 countries at the meeting.
The communiqué states that climate change is too complex to address with a single approach. "Action will be needed at local, state, national and regional levels and by all stakeholders: governments, businesses, investors, civil society and consumers," it states.
"A sufficiently ambitious, international, comprehensive and legally binding United Nations agreement is needed as a matter of urgency to provide context for national actions and policies, to facilitate international cooperation, and to ensure the overall scale of the challenge will be met. Crucially, it would also provide business with the certainty and frameworks it needs to scale up global investment in low-carbon technologies."
Commenting on the current economic downturn, the signatories state that "decisive action will stimulate global economic activity" and that delaying action will increase the costs of stabilising the climate. The communiqué also states that any credible comprehensive agreement must include mechanisms to reduce tropical deforestation. "The continuing destruction of these ecosystems accounts for up to a fifth of annual greenhouse gas emissions. Stopping deforestation represents an immediate and cost-effective means of combating climate change," it says.
The communiqué states that every effort must be made at COP 14 to ensure that an agreement of sufficient ambition and scope can be adopted at COP 15 in Copenhagen in December 2009. It will be important that the agreement includes a comprehensive global approach to emissions from international aviation and shipping. Currently, aviation faces a situation where various countries are developing different emissions schemes with different mechanisms, creating a lot of cost that does not go to help the environment.
Cathay Pacific Chief Executive Tony Tyler said: "We are very encouraged that business leaders are looking for a global, integrated solution to climate change - a solution that is based on science not politics and uses a range of measures, including market measures, standards and regulation, to achieve its goals. Cathay Pacific is very much behind a global solution for aviation, which is one of the key recommendations of the communiqué."
Mr Tyler stressed that with its undoubted expertise, Asia doesn't have to follow the same path as other parts of the world when it comes to technology development. "China is already the world's largest producer and consumer of renewable energy technologies. In parallel, Asian governments need to increase co-operation in regional and global initiatives for the transfer of environmental technologies," Mr Tyler said.
"At the policy level, Asia needs to take its rightful place at the leadership table in the post-Kyoto climate discussions. Asia should put forward its own sustainable development and emissions-reduction proposals, not wait for others to find a solution. We need to become masters of our own destiny and make key decisions that will move us towards the right solutions to address climate change."
The Poznan communiqué was produced and coordinated by the Prince of Wales's Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change. The full text of the Poznan Communiqué is available at www.poznancommunique.com along with a full list of signatories.
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