Business leaders call for carbon emission targets

Maurice Levy, Publicis Groupe chairman, is among a group of business chiefs asking political leaders to set targets for tackling climate change and to establish a global carbon market. Their blueprint for climate change is being handed to Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, ahead of next month’s G8 summit.

The coalition hopes that its ideas will have an impact on UN meetings, which aim to produce new targets in a successor to the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012.

The group argues that cutting emission must carry economic advantages. Their recommendations include richer countries committing to deeper and earlier emissions targets but that developing counties must also be included in the post-Kyoto deal. They also lobby that a global carbon trading system should be established as soon as possible.

Another key suggestion is that emission caps should be applied flexibly across industry sectors to preserve competitiveness.

British Airways chief executive Willie Walsh, BP chief executive Tony Hayward, BT chief executive Ian Livingston and chairman of HSBC Holdings, Stephen Green, are also among the 98 signatories.

In May, WPP chief Martin Sorrell was among a group of 18 chief executives of global companies who called on G8 members to step up efforts on water scarcity. They said that a water crisis is a threat to business as well as the environment (mw.co.uk May 8).

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