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150 Global Corporations Release 'Bali Communique'

150 Global Corporations Release 'Bali Communique'

"A sufficiently ambitious, international and comprehensive legally-binding United Nations agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will provide business with the certainty it needs to scale up global investment in low-carbon technologies."
-The Bali Communique

December 4, 2007 —

As 180 nations meet in Bali this week for a United Nations conference on global warming, pressure for binding regulation is coming from an unusual source: some of the worlds largest corporations. Leaders from the European Union —which already has an agreement in place to reduce carbon emissions by 20 percent by 2020— are calling for a 50 percent reduction by 2050, a goal so ambitious it dwarfs the Kyoto Protocol's target of five percent. It is this target that 150 corporate signatories to the so-called "Bali Communique" are backing. The group include companies like Nike, Johnson & Johnson, Coca-Cola, Nokia, Hewlett-Packard, and HSBC.

Where Kyoto was generally received by the international business community with quiet consternation, its successor seems to be backed by the uneasy consensus that something must be done. That some of the world's biggest polluters are asking for more regulation stands in sharp contrast with the typical Wall Street line about "markets regulating themselves." It would seem that the corporate world is ready to admit it has a problem and is reaching out to the U.N. for help.

Voluntary improvements and the market pressures that are provided by ethical shoppers who prefer "green" brands, certainly provide the impetus for gradual change. But most experts agree that nothing short of a binding worldwide agreement is capable of creating the dramatic decrease in carbon emissions necessary to reverse the global climate change trends we are currently witnessing. It's likely that these 150 corporations have also come to this conclusion and are lobbying the Bali meetings not just out of the goodness of their hearts, but out of a genuine fear about the impact sustained warming could have on global business.

For a list of signatories, click here.

For full text of the communique, click here.



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