South African corporate leaders presented the Cancun Communiqué, calling for movement and collaboration on the international climate policy agenda, to Joanne Yawitch, deputy director general in the Department of Environmental Affairs responsible for climate, who is a key member of the South African delegation travelling to the Conference of the Parties (COP16) in Cancun in a few days.
The Mexican Ambassador to South Africa and a senior official from the British High Commission joined the business leaders at the event, hosted by Godfrey Gomwe, an executive director of Anglo American South Africa at its corporate office in Johannesburg.
The statement is a renewed call for "an ambitious, robust and equitable global deal on climate change," adding that "businesses are ready to work in partnership with government to achieve our joint climate objectives". They go on to say that for them "the risk of inaction on climate change is far greater than the cost of investing today."
The Cancun Communiqué is an initiative of the Prince of Wales's Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change - a cross-sectoral group of major international businesses working with the University of Cambridge to call for action that is more ambitious to tackle climate change.
Preparation for 2011 conference
South African rose to prominence last year when President Jacob Zuma agreed to bold emissions targets for South Africa. The eyes of the world are on the country, as it prepares to take up the mantle of leadership from the Mexican government as the host of the international climate negotiations in 2011.
South African business leaders have expressed a desire to support it in making the UN COP17 a major success. So far, more than 25 South African companies have endorsed the Communiqué, including Santam, SAPPI, Group Five, Allied Electronics Corporation, Nedbank and Vodacom.
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