International Chamber of Commerce to focus on private sector engagement in COP29 process - secretary general (Interview)

Green Economy Materials 4 March 2024 08:00 (UTC +04:00)
International Chamber of Commerce to focus on private sector engagement in COP29 process - secretary general (Interview)
Laman Zeynalova
Laman Zeynalova
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BAKU, Azerbaijan, March 4. The International Chamber of Commerce to focus on private sector engagement in COP29 process, Secretary General International Chamber of Commerce John Denton said in an exclusive interview with Trend.

“My 100 percent focus in my visit to Azerbaijan is in the context of the country’s COP29 presidency. My focus has been on spending time with the incoming president of the COP process, meeting with other people who are relevant to the success of the process. Also, we're in the process of exploring the creation of an ICC National Committee in Azerbaijan to support our activities and our recognition of the importance of Azerbaijan as a potential economic powerhouse in the region. And because we are the world's largest business organization, it's appropriate not only that we support Azerbaijan and its leadership of the COP process, but also, we look to how we can support the development of the private sector here,” he said.

Denton believes that first of all, it's important to understand that the International Chamber of Commerce is the principal interlocutor that brings the private sector into the whole COP process.

“So, we have been instrumental since the creation of the Paris Agreement. In fact, most people would say that there was the ICC that was pivotal in enabling the successful completion of the Paris Agreement itself. And we have been the principal private sector interlocutor for what's called the UNFCCC, crowding in the private sector, ever since the commencement of the COP process. So, our role at COP29 will be again ensuring that the voice of the private sector is appropriately engaged with the development of the agenda, but also the execution of the objectives, not only of Azerbaijan as the leader of the COP29, but of the global community, which is how do we get to the outcomes envisaged in the Paris Agreement together sustainably and on time. And that's what we're focused on,” noted the secretary general.

He went on to add that geographically positioned between East and West, Azerbaijan is an important interlocutor in the regional development of the Caucasus and a powerhouse in terms of energy.

“We want to see Azerbaijan use all those different strengths it has in order to marshal as much political capital amongst the global community to deliver a strong outcome. We want to see resolution of the endless debate over Article 6 to ensure there's effective and functioning carbon markets. We want to see a joining up of the trade debate with the climate debate so that there's one aligned system. And I've discussed all these things with the president of COP29. In the COP process, you've got to understand that at the ICC, we have 170 countries. We enable $17.5 trillion worth of economic activity every year. $10 trillion of that is actually enabling the operation of the global trade finance market. What we're doing at the moment is we're working on an initiative where we're taking the whole of that $10 trillion trade finance market. We're dividing it into sectors and ensuring that the critical sectors are all aligned with what's called sustainability outcomes,” Denton explained.

He went on to add that ICC is effectively creating a sustainable trade framework which will enable to grade trade finance practices, which will help take the whole of the global trade finance market over time into a Paris-aligned activity.

“It's a huge contribution which we'll be making to the whole greening and the delivery of the Paris Agreement. That's an initiative which I shared with the COP29 president. We'll be adding more sectors to the Baku COP29 later on this year. The exploration by ICC of the creation of a national committee here, reflects our expectation that Baku, properly supported, can play a very important role, not just in the region, but also on a global basis as well. We want to liberate and enable more Azerbaijani entrepreneurs to participate in global economy. We want to ensure that with the adoption of ICC principles, and the use of the ICC Court of Arbitration, we will create more opportunity for Azerbaijan to attract foreign direct investments, which will help with economic development as well,” said the ICC secretary general.

Denton pointed out that ICC sees Azerbaijan as potentially being a link with other economies in the region.

“There are three dimensions of the financing aspect of climate goals. The first is the commitment by advanced economies to provide financing to support developing and emerging economies engage in the energy transition. There has been some movement on that. But without further movement on that, the trust between the advanced economies and the global south will erode. And that erosion will cause havoc to the success of the economy and operation of the COP process itself. So, it's very important at a global level to ensure that what was promised is actually delivered. The second level is actually making certain that the global financial architecture, the way we organize finances, is supportive of action on climate as well. Is the macroprudential regulation aligned to what's required to deliver on climate outcomes? Are the multilateral development banks focused on providing the equity stimulation that may be required as well to support activity, particularly in developing and emerging economies?” he said.

Denton noted that ICC is already seeing something like 65 percent of investment in the energy transition in advanced economies coming from the private sector.

“We're not seeing the same level in the developing economies. And the third area is just doing things. The ICC is acting where it has authority, which is in trade finance. We want to see more entities do that. Leading by doing is actually a key element for this COP 29 process,” he concluded.

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