Main players behind the World Business Summit on Climate Change

Copenhagen Climate Council

The Copenhagen Climate Council is the offical host of the World Business Summit on Climate Change. The Copenhagen Climate Council was established especially for COP15 and the Business Summit by the think tank Monday Morning. In 1989, Monday Morning was set up and funded by Erik Rasmussen – one of the lead people at the Copenhagen Climate Council. Monday Morning is well known in Denmark and Norway thanks to its weekly magazine.

The Copenhagen Climate Council brings together 30 councillors, mainly from the business world. Their vision for a new international agreement on climate (advocating a global carbon market and pushing for corporate-friendly technologies) can be found in their Manifesto.

3C – Combat Climate Change

The 3C Initiative was launched by the Swedish energy company Vattenfall in 2007 to help shape a global climate agreement for 2013. The 3C Initiative also lobbies for a global carbon market and pushes for technologies such as carbon capture and storage (CCS), nuclear and second generation agrofuels, neatly fitting with Vattenfall’s own interests. Some 50 companies are members of the 3C Initiative, including BP and DONG.

The World Economic Forum’s Initiative on Climate Change

The Initiative on Climate Change is one of a number of global initiatives launched by the World Economic Forum to look at the role of business in “advancing economic development and social progress”. In March 2009, it launched the Task Force on Low-Carbon Economic Prosperity (at the invitation of UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown), bringing together powerful corporations and individuals to push for “a high growth low carbon economy”. Members of the task group include BP, Shell and Vattenfall, alongside the Copenhagen Climate Council and “experts” such as Henry Derwent, CEO of the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA) and Björn Stigson, President of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. It reinforces the push for public investment in the techno-fixes championed by business.

The UN Global Compact

With over 5,000 signatories, the UN Global Compact claims to be the “world's largest voluntary corporate citizenship initiative”. However, its voluntary nature, the appalling track record of many of its members, and the cloak of legitimacy attained by members because of their link with the UN gave birth to the term “bluewash” to convey that beyond its propaganda, it lacks substance and does not improve the overall behaviour of corporations. Their Caring for Climate Initiative, launched in 2007, has been signed up to by 327 companies and will present a series of reports at the Copenhagen Business Summit. Caring for Climate claims to be a commitment to action by business, but as the Global Compact, lacks any binding commitment or mechanisms for enforcement, this has little meaning.

The Climate Group

The Climate Group was set up by Steve Howard in 2003 and is present in several countries around the world, bringing together corporate and government members. In 2008 it launched a project with Tony Blair to advocate an international climate agreement post 2012.

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development

Led by Björn Stigson (also a councillor at the Copenhagen Climate Council), the World Business Council for Sustainable Development has 200 member companies. It was the pioneer in re-branding corporations as part of the solution and not the problem, achieving a big impact with its involvement in the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. Since then the WBCSD has promoted self-regulation by business and opposed legally binding environmental and social standards for corporate activitiesat every major international UN summit. Despite the green rhetoric, WBCSD has undermined momentum for effective international solutions to solve global environmental and social problems. At previous UN climate talks, including the most recent in Poznan (COP14 December 2008), the WBCSD, together with the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), have taken the lead on corporate involvement. In Copenhagen, the leading role has been taken by the Nordic groups (Copenhagen Climate Council, 3C), rather than WBCSD, with the unprecedented collaboration of a host government.