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Irish Business Leaders Call for Stonger Action on Climate Change

22 Sep 2009

Irish Business Leaders Call for Stronger Government Action on Climate Change

12 companies support new initiative and present Communiqué to An Taoiseach, Brian Cowen T.D.

Monday 21st September, 2009: Today, Irish corporate leaders took a unique step by coming together to present plans and recommendations to Government on climate change. The Irish Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change was launched to trigger a step-change in climate change policy and position Ireland as a low climate risk economy. The Group of 12 industry leaders presented a Communiqué on climate change to An Taoiseach, Brian Cowen T.D. at Farmleigh House today.

The Irish Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change is an initiative of Business in the Community Ireland, Friends of the Earth and Vodafone. Currently the group has 12 members: Arup Consulting Engineers, Bewley's, Bord na Móna, BT, Diageo, Intel, KPMG, NTR, PwC, Siemens, Zurich and Vodafone.

The Irish Corporate Leaders Group has drawn on the experience of similar groups in countries such as the UK, Japan and Germany where corporate support for ambitious action is enabling Government to strengthen climate policy.

After a six month collaboration period the Irish Corporate Leaders Group has developed a Communiqué on climate change policy which calls on the Government to implement science- based targets and a tough climate change law. The Irish Corporate Leaders Group on climate change through its Communiqué has called on the Government to:

Acknowledge the seriousness of the challenge and the enormity of the opportunity
Adopt, advocate and support science as the primary driver of climate policy
Develop a long term policy framework to provide certainty to businesses
Position Ireland as a world leader in smart green enterprise
Prioritize education and research to build a low-carbon economy
Act now or pay later

Speaking on behalf of the Corporate Leaders Group, Charles Butterworth, CEO Vodafone Ireland and founding member of the group said, "Climate change is one of the greatest challenges facing our future and our planet. Vodafone has a progressive environmental strategy to reduce its carbon emissions. This is why the Corporate Leaders Group is so important and we at Vodafone are very proud to be involved in bringing this group together from the initial planning stages. Corporate Ireland has a responsibility in tackling climate change and must take a leadership role in policy development. The Irish Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change is ready to work with the Government and other stakeholders to position Ireland as a world leading low carbon economy."

Tina Roche, Business in the Community said, "These are difficult times and yet climate change hasn't gone away. On this most challenging of issues, leadership is needed to not only deal with the scale of the challenge, but also to take advantage of the opportunities it presents. Corporate Ireland has stepped up and shown real leadership and through the newly formed Irish Corporate Leaders Group on climate change, has made a very bold statement on the issue. The message is clear, climate change is a business issue and business is ready to tackle it."

Oisín Coghlan, Director of Friends of the Earth, said "Friends of the Earth is delighted to see Irish businesses take a leadership position on climate change. The group's call for science-based targets and a strong climate change law is very timely. I hope this support for decisive action will enable Government to act with renewed urgency to put Ireland on a low-carbon path."

Notes:

About The Irish Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change
The Irish Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change is an initiative of Business in the Community Ireland, Friends of the Earth and Vodafone. Its 12 current members are: Arup Consulting Engineers, Bewley's, Bord na Móna, BT, Diageo, Intel, KPMG, NTR, PwC, Siemens, Zurich and Vodafone

The Taoiseach leaves for New York later today to attend Ban-ki Moon's heads of government event on climate change tomorrow aimed at boosting the chances of fair, balanced and effective deal at the UN climate conference in December.

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