We can and we must act

Mary Robinson has begun her trip to COP19 in Warsaw by highlighting the key drivers of urgent and ambitious action on climate change: 'we can' and 'we must'

Mary Robinson has begun her trip to COP19 in Warsaw, Poland by stressing what she believes are the key drivers of action on climate change: ‘we can’ and ‘we must’.

Speaking in a panel entitled ‘The Road to Paris 2015’ at the World Climate Summit, Mrs Robinson emphasized how the ‘business as usual’ approach to dealing with the climate crisis is simply not enough.

She called on businesses to champion a new ‘we can’ approach to achieving climate justice, by signalling to political leaders that the steps needed to keep warming to less than 2°C are feasible, affordable and sustainable.

Mr. Daniele Violetti, Chief of Staff at the UNFCCC, who also sat on the panel, echoed this approach, stating the importance of business opening a dialogue with governments at the national and sub-national level, and telling them that it is okay for them to do the right thing and commit to ambitious climate action through a rapid transformation to low carbon, climate resilient development.

He added that he felt the sense of urgency was missing in climate negotiations – an urgency which, in their Declaration on Climate Justice, the High Level Advisory Committee of the Climate Justice Dialogue have stressed with critical importance in achieving an ambitious and equitable climate agreement in 2015, the deadline set for a new international climate agreement.

Also attending the event were Ms Nancy Sutley, Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) and Baroness Bryony Worthington, a member of the United Kingdom’s House of Lords. Mrs Robinson also stressed the ‘we must’ approach, emphasising the moral imperative business has to act, for the sake of future generations who face an catastrophic world of even more frequent and extreme weather shocks if nothing truly effective is achieved in the climate negotiations. Baroness Worthington also described legislation and regulation as key to climate action, and called on business leaders and wider society to open a dialogue with their political leaders for decisive action in this regard.

For the first time this year, World Climate Ltd and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development collaborated to provide a complementary series of activities over two days alongside the COP19 to create a large business platform for debate and action.

Over two days the event brought together business, global institutions and government leaders to discuss solutions, actions and policies to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

Related Links:

Our Work: Equity and Climate Justice

Climate Justice Dialogue

Foundation’s Activities at COP19