“We need to work together to spur innovative solutions” – Climate Champion’s Remarks at the International Chamber of Commerce Talanoa

Climate Champion Inia Seruiratu’s Remarks at the International Chamber of Commerce Talanoa on 4 May 2018

Ni sa bula vinaka and a very good afternoon to you all.

It is my pleasure to be here this afternoon among a group of very dynamic individuals and business organizations.

Friends who are determined to drive international business community towards the achieving the collective long-term goals of the Paris Agreement and bringing the business experience in policy assessment, design and implementation.

And “how business can contribute to filling the gap of NDCs” is such an important focus given the broad cross-cutting implications of climate change impacts on business and industry and the value that businesses can provide to the economy and society.

Businesses, big or small, multinational or SMEs are therefore crucial partners in securing a prosperous and sustainable, low-carbon economy for all. Business and industry have a significant role to play in enabling the global economy to achieve its climate goals. In emerging economies, combined with informal businesses, SMEs are key to driving job creation and increasing incoming levels.

Step by step, more companies are now committed to leadership on climate action than ever before. However it is not enough yet – more needs to be done faster to fully transition to a zero-carbon and resilient economy.

We need to work together to remove barriers and spur innovative solutions, to take us towards an economy that creates value and jobs in a sustainable manner.

Equally essential is sharing your experiences and knowledge. This brings me to an important process that calls for this – the Talanoa Dialogue that ICC has already conducted earlier this year.

Ladies and gentlemen,

As you are aware – the Talanoa Dialogue sets out to engage with all stakeholders – both Parties and non-Party stakeholders.

Everyone including the private sector is invited to share their experiences, their achievements, challenges, solutions, innovations and visions that will inspire, provoke, and drive countries to increase ambition. Ambition and action for both pre-2020 and post-2020. The bottom line is the urgency to act and to act now.

So where do we want to go?

The message of the Fijian Presidency has been very clear on this. We should aim for the highest level of ambition of keeping temperature increase to within 1.5 degrees Celsius. This is vital for the survival of our small island communities and other vulnerable regions around the world. We should take all efforts to sharply bend the alarming temperature trajectory we are currently on. And we can only do this if we act now.

So how do we get there?

We should strengthen trends and forces shaping industry today –smart infrastructure, resilient supply chains, and business engagement – as these are key drivers for transforming industry. Integrating climate objectives into infrastructure decisions will increase resilience to climate change impacts, avoid locking in stranded assets, and bring multiple additional benefits, such as cleaner air and job creation.

Resilient supply chains are also in the interests of business. If I had one ask of you today is to not forget about resilience, as this is critical for building the businesses for the future and for safeguarding the livelihoods of local communities who depend on these.

We need to establish structured opportunities for the private sector to engage in the national dialogues on their respective NDCs. We also need to strengthen and expand partnerships among different agencies, ministries, including with financing institutions and investors.

Most importantly, we need to broaden participation in the global South. The high-level champions recognize the importance of strengthening climate action in these regions and act on the opportunities available. The global business community could provide extremely valuable assistance and support to local businesses and entrepreneurs in understanding the co-benefits of integrating climate into their business plans.

We will also work to showcase these efforts through a revamped NAZCA platform to provide recognition and tangible evidence of this expansion.

Ladies and gentlemen,

It is our hope that the Talanoa spirit will become a norm in national level discussions on climate change – be it with the national or local governments, or among different stakeholders of opposing opinions.

This is what the Talanoa Dialogue and the Marrakech Partnership aims to do – to bring together a diverse set of stakeholders to exchange experiences, knowledge and ideas and to learn and better understand one another. Everyone constructively contributes, everyone respectfully listens, and everyone openly engages to collectively identify solutions and to take action to address the problem at hand.

In closing, I would like to congratulate ICC for their efforts in coordinating and driving forward this important work for the business and industry sector.

I wish you all an enjoyable afternoon and evening and productive talanoa.

Vinaka vakalevu. Thank you. Danke schoen.