Leading US companies who came to Copenhagen to push for a strong climate deal say although the Copenhagen Accord falls short of the binding international treaty, they are seeking to ensure a level playing field for companies competing globally in the emerging low-carbon economy.
Mindy Lubber, president of Ceres and director of the Investor Network on Climate Risk, a network of 80 institutional investors with collective assets totaling $8 trillion, said, "While we are pleased that negotiations moved forward in Copenhagen, we are sobered by what today's agreement reveals about how much hard work lies ahead.
"That work must start here in the United States. Our country must lead the world with a commitment to strong limits on its own carbon emissions if it expects others to follow. The time for politics as usual is over."
Nike and global outdoor apparel company The North Face were among 30 US businesses that sent a letter to President Obama earlier this week urging him to secure a comprehensive climate agreement with significant emissions reduction targets, substantial new financing commitments from developed countries, including the United States, and strong transparency with respect to national commitments.
"We're pleased with tonight's agreement between several leading developed and developing countries," said Hannah Jones, vice president of sustainable business and innovation at Nike, who spent four days in Copenhagen pressing for a strong deal.
Jones said, "Companies want clear, comprehensive national and international policies that will reduce global warming pollution and kickstart our transition to a clean energy economy. Nike welcomes the president's sense of urgency and recognition that companies need certainty and a level playing field in order to move to a low-carbon economy which will unleash the next wave of jobs and prosperity.''
According to Letitia Webster, director of corporate sustainability at The North Face, "Today's announcement is a strong step forward, a recognition that all the world's nations must come together in finding solutions that know no borders. It's an acknowledgment that climate mitigation and adaptation efforts must be everybody's job regardless of where they take place.''