The voice of the private sector is set to grow louder at the climate-change talks in Durban over the coming week, after one business observer said the private sector is dissatisfied with how the talks are going.
Duane Newman of financial-services firm Deloitte said delegates wanted the private sector to foot more of the bill for green development than previously expected. There was also a “growing unhappiness” among business leaders with a deal for the Green Climate Fund that would take three years to implement.
“The current and likely future volatility in commodity costs, shifting stakeholder sustainability priorities and the impact of integrated reporting are material changes that are now influencing the debate,” Newman said.
Business initiatives and events are dominating the weekend, starting with the World Climate Summit, a coalition of more than 8,000 businesses and financiers. On Saturday morning, President Jacob Zuma opened the two-day event which also features talks on energy efficiency, green financing and carbon markets.
On Sunday, trade unions will get a chance to flex their green muscles at the International Conference on Climate Jobs. Cosatu will host unions from around the world with a message likely to echo business leaders calling for capitalisation of the Green Climate Fund.
And on Monday, the Prince of Wales’ Corporate Leaders’ Group on Climate Change will present a communiqué signed by more than 340 companies urging bolder action from governments to limit the effects of climate change on prosperity.
Mike Brown of Nedbank, which is a co-sponsor of the World Climate Summit and a signatory of the communiqué, said time was running out.
“Durban should be the turning point towards higher ambition,” he said.
Also on Monday, the World Trade Organisation and the Department of Trade and Industry will host the Trade and Climate Change Symposium, highlighting emissions trading, biofuels and risk management.
Designated business leaders can observe the COP17 negotiations but are not permitted to vote.