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RICS joins world business leaders to accelerate deal on climate change


22 Sep 2009


Climate & Environment

The Copenhagen Communiqué on Climate Change*

Today, RICS, and 500 other global corporate leaders, handed a joint Communiqué to Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, at a public event in New York. The Communiqué urges governments to agree on an ambitious, credible and equitable global deal to address climate change at the Copenhagen Climate Summit in December.

From a business perspective, the Copenhagen Communiqué, an initiative of The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change, calls on world governments to create the conditions to provide business with the certainty and frameworks it needs to scale up global investment in low-carbon technologies. It claims that a weak outcome would only exacerbate the already difficult business conditions worldwide.

Signatories are convinced that a return to economic stability must lay the foundation for low carbon growth and must avoid locking societies into an unsustainable high-carbon future.

According to the Communiqué, a legally binding United Nations Climate change agreement should include the following key elements:

· A global carbon emissions cap and long-term reduction strategy for the period 2013 to 2050. Overall targets for emission reduction must be guided by science. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) even an immediate peaking in global emissions would require a subsequent reduction of 50-85% by 2050.

· Developed countries need to take on immediate and deep carbon emission commitments much higher than the global average.

· Developing countries will need to play their part by drawing up their own emission reduction plans in line with their common but differentiated responsibilities and capabilities.

By signing the Copenhagen Communiqué on Climate Change, RICS, ,has reaffirmed its commitment to the creation of sustainable global property markets and to advising governments, businesses and consumers on how to best achieve the required market transformation. RICS is currently producing a comprehensive global climate change strategy that will be launched in November this year as part of the RICS Climate Change Series, comprising a set of events, seminars and lectures launched in London earlier this year and now being rolled out globally.

According to Louis Armstrong, RICS Chief executive:

“The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors has signed the Copenhagen Communiqué because we believe that there is a clear need to move the debate on climate change from the " whether to take action " to the "how to take action " and to find practical solutions for the property and construction sectors. With 140.000 members world wide we are well placed to turn policy and aspirations into practical solutions. We must therefore actively influence governments to ensure that policy achieves the transformation to sustainable property market mechanisms."

Commenting, Ursula Hartenberger, Global Head of Sustainability Policy at RICS, said:

“We support the Copenhagen Communiqué because we strongly believe in evidence based decision making and therefore want to see an agreement on credible measurement, reporting and verification mechanisms of emissions.

Signing the Communiqué is an integral part of our own global climate change strategy. Climate change is a global issue and whilst practical solutions will need to be tackled locally, RICS is creating a global policy framework for the organisation and its members to ensure alignment of local initiatives and to facilitate cross-border best practice knowledge transfer both in policy and professional expertise terms.”

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