The vice-president of the Spanish Green Growth Group
(GECV) has been present
at the high-level ceremony
convened by UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon
, which took place today in New York. This signing ceremony for the Paris Agreement
has been witnessed by more than 65 heads of state and representatives from at least a further 130 countries, signalling crucial international backing for rapid implementation of the agreement. The signing ceremony itself is a key milestone, as a first step in achieving that each of the signing countries or regional bodies submits their own instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession before the United Nations. Pursuant to paragraph one, Article 21, the Agreement will enter into force once ratified by 55 countries which together represent at least 55% of global emissions. The companies making up the GECV consider it a matter of urgency that the ratification process is finalised as quickly as possible, bringing the Paris Agreement into force and allowing meaningful progress to be made in the implementation of the aims and measures it sets out. The GECV believes that the Paris Agreement provides a framework of targets and principles which will strengthen the actions of the international community – governments, civil society and companies – aimed at decarbonising the economy and avoiding the most harmful effects of climate change:
- The agreement establishes the target of holding the increase in the global average temperature below 2 °C by the end of the century, and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C, thus providing a stable environment for long-term company investment strategies;
- National Climate Change Action Plans (NCCAPs) are becoming an essential reference for countries in regard to targets and measures for tackling climate change;
- It determines the basic elements for strengthening transparency and climate ambition, and establishes 5-yearly reviews of progress achieved as one of the main elements, with a view to strengthening continuous improvement;
- Stresses the role of carbon pricing in providing incentives for emissions reductions, and facilitates achievement of targets through the emissions trading scheme between countries.
Nevertheless, the companies making up the GECV believe that the Paris Agreement is an important step. In order to consolidate the path towards a new development model which clearly does away with the link between economic growth and increased emissions, all the issues dealt with in the text of the agreement must be implemented with the highest possible ambition. The GECV believes that the time to act is now, and that public private partnerships are essential if progress is to be made towards this new development model. The GECV,
first established in September 2014 by 18 companies, currently comprises 29 companies from such wide-ranging sectors as energy, finance, industry, infrastructures, services and communications, amongst others. With a joint capital of close to 429 billion Euros, these companies, most of which are multinational corporations listed on the Ibex 35, together with associated SMEs, share ambitious commitments on emissions reductions, and are strongly committed to the opportunities created by a low carbon economy. The aims of the GECV are to promote the activities required for raising awareness amongst the general population and all other stakeholders on the potential of this financial growth model for Spain; to contribute to creating and disseminating the knowledge required for bringing about the necessary changes; to influence the creation of a favourable environment for development of the said model; and to serve as a relevant mediator between the business sector and public institutions, company associations, professional corporations, universities and other focus groups, both nationally and internationally.