It is high time for action in the fight against climate change

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The seventh global roundtable for the Low Carbon Technology Partnerships initiative (LCTPi) calls for swift implementation of solutions

"The transition to a low-carbon world is taking place everywhere at a pace that was previously unforeseen and unexpected. There are a growing number of concrete initiatives to reduce dependency on fossil fuels and develop business models for the low carbon economies" said Jacek P. Krawczyk, President of the Employers Group at the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) in his opening speech at the 7th global meeting of the Low-Carbon Technology Partnerships initiative (LCTPi).

"The EESC has an important role to play in addressing both opportunities and challenges that this transition brings to our societies", Mr. Krawczyk added.

Over 250 business leaders and policy-makers gathered at the EESC to discuss ways to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy and to unlock the potential for innovative solutions in preparation of COP23 in Bonn. The meeting was organized by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD).

During the two-day event, participants worked in plenary sessions and working-groups to develop key policy recommendations that will be presented at COP23.

Public-private collaboration on low-carbon technology solutions is key for implementation of international climate change commitments, they said. They called onto stakeholders to move from dialogue to concrete actions.

Participants also agreed on the need to develop a stable policy framework to unlock investment in low-carbon technologies, to engage in clear actions and reinforce practical cooperation between stakeholders, and to develop common standards to speed up adoption of these new technologies and align players.

Companies are driving innovation

"Businesses around the world must now play an active role to implement solutions and drive innovation in a way that makes economic sense and brings jobs. We need to reach out to policy-makers to accelerate that", said Peter Bakker, President and CEO of WBCSD.

Jill Duggan, Director of the Prince of Wales' Corporate Leaders Group, also echoed this message: "Nowadays, in many cases, businesses are moving ahead and policies need to keep up".

Picking up the ball, Patrick Child, Deputy Director-General DG Research and Innovation at the European Commission, said: "There is a clear recognition of the central role of innovation, but we need closer relations between the research world and the private sector for Europe to continue leading."

Claude Turmes, Member of the European Parliament, called onto businesses to scale up deployment of renewables, energy efficiency, intelligent grids and e-mobility fast: "We have lost enough time. Now it's time to act, and in Europe, it means to get the Clean Energy Package up and running".

In closing, the sectoral working groups presented their draft recommendations and expressed their joint commitment to deepening the transition to a low-carbon and sustainable future. They reiterated that joining forces between public-private authorities is key to deliver on the Paris agreement.

"If some people, some countries choose not to act, it is up to us, an alliance of companies, workers,  civil society, regional and local public and private coalitions, and citizens, to take over with ambition, and ensure that this battle for our future is fought successfully. I am very optimistic when I hear this conference's discussions and I look forward to working with all of you for a better tomorrow", concluded Pierre Jean Coulon, EESC President of the section for Transport, Energy, Infrastructure and the Information Society (TEN).

 

About the EESC's work in the low-carbon transition

The EESC strongly supports a just transition to a low-carbon economy, in line with the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Agenda and the Paris Agreement, to ensure no one is left behind. Through various opinions (see here), the EESC has repeatedly advocated for the promotion of renewables, energy efficiency, the decarbonisation of Europe's economies supported by market-based instruments, as well as technological innovation and new business opportunities as crucial actors to address climate change.