By December 14, 2015 Read More →

Business leaders want COP 21 implementation to follow American model

“API will closely scrutinize the COP 21 agreement to see how it references the US model of reducing emissions through technological innovation and increased use of natural gas.” – Gerard

Now that COP 21 has wrapped up, American energy leaders are promoting their model of private sector market-led emissions reductions they say has already proven to be successful.

cop 21

President Obama at the COP 21 conference.

The Paris climate change conference produced a supposedly historic agreement to limit CO2 emissions and eventually decarbonize the global economy. But there was little discussion about how that should be accomplished.

The American Petroleum Institute, the main trade association for US oil and gas producers, says it is urging world leaders to recognize the “proven results” of America’s market-driven model for addressing climate challenges.

“America’s private sector has already taken the lead on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, even as we increase economic activity and domestic energy production to keep energy reliable and affordable for consumers,” said API president and CEO Jack Gerard.

COP 21

Jack Gerard, American Petroleum Institute. Photo: Handout.

“Our success is driven, not by government mandate or legislative fiat, but through innovation, investment and entrepreneurial spirit.”

Gerard says the United States has become the world leader in reducing carbon dioxide emissions, referencing Environmental Protection Agency data showing methane emissions are “plummeting,” with the largest reductions coming from hydraulically fractured natural gas wells.

“Our nation’s 21st century energy renaissance, which has made domestically produced natural gas cheap and abundant, has helped us achieve substantial and sustained emissions reductions without command-and-control style regulatory intervention. Where other nations have pledges, we have progress and results,” said Gerard.

“API will closely scrutinize the COP 21 agreement to see how it references the U.S. model of reducing emissions through technological innovation and increased use of natural gas.”

The International Chamber of Commerce is concerned business has had too little say in drafting the COP 21 treaty, arguing in a press release that the text should “reflect business contributions in driving emissions reductions, building climate resilience, and the knowledge and capability business brings to the table.”

COP 21

John Danilovich, International Chamber of Commerce.

“We’re here, we’re involved, and we’re in it for the long haul,” said John Danilovich, Secretary General of the International Chamber of Commerce, which acts as the focal point for business in the UN climate talks.

Danilovich says business plays a “significant role” in research and development, deployment of low-carbon technologies, reporting and verification of emissions, and risk management – expertise that governments can draw on to help inform the steps after COP 21 and to strengthen mitigation and adaptation action.

“Business matters for the success of any international climate change agreement – but we need the right long-term policy signals to enable us to do more,” said Danilovich.

“Including business in the outcomes of the Paris talks would be a significant leap forward in the way we approach the shared challenge of climate change.”

The past 18 months have seen an increasing amount of action and investment by businesses and entrepreneurs around the world, which are willing, ready and able to do their part in driving the low-carbon economic transformation, he said.

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