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Absa on a road to reducing carbon emissions

23 September 2009 Absa

Absa has sought to reduce its carbon footprint by employing innovative and efficient energy solutions in its physical infrastructure and through proactive collaboration with its supply chain partners, says Absa Group CEO Maria Ramos.

Ramos was speaking at a press conference in New York City in the USA earlier today, where world business leaders representing over 500 companies from around the world warned that business will suffer if a credible deal is not reached at the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen this December.

The world business leaders have published the Copenhagen Communiqué calling on world leaders to agree, “an ambitious, robust and equitable global deal on climate change that responds credibly to the scale and urgency of the crisis facing the world today.”

Ramos said, “As one of the largest financial institutions on the African continent, Absa is mindful of the fact that sustainability is core to the endowment we bequeath to future generations.”

The Copenhagen Communiqué on Climate Change is the definitive progressive statement from the international business community ahead of the UN Climate Conference in Copenhagen in December.

It has already secured the support of over 500 companies, from the US, EU, Japan, Australia and Canada, to Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa; ranging from the world’s largest companies and best known brands, to Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs).

Ramos said, as a member of the global Barclays Group, Absa recognizes the imperative for a transition to a low carbon environment and the coordinated action required of all stakeholders including Governments and business in order to achieve the desired outcomes".

In the Communiqué, the world business leaders say, “These are difficult and challenging times for the international business community and a poor outcome from the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen will only make them more so, by creating uncertainty and undermining confidence”.

They warn that, “Economic development will not be sustained in the longer term unless the climate is stabilised” and say it is “critical” that “we exit this recession in a way that lays the foundation for low-carbon growth and avoids locking us into a high carbon future”.

The companies call for emission reduction targets to be guided by science and offer support for the emerging consensus to limit global average temperature rise to less than 2 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels.

In turn, they recognise that this will require global emissions to peak and begin to decline rapidly within the next decade and reduce by 50-85% by 2050.

The business leaders urge developed countries to take on “immediate and deep emission reduction commitments” and “demonstrate that low-carbon growth is both achievable and desirable” and provide the necessary financial and technological assistance to developing countries.

They call on developing countries to draw up their own emission reduction plans, and call on advanced developing countries to adopt economy-wide commitments by 2020.

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