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Business

Top CEOs urge world leaders to reach climate deal

The heads of major multinational corporations from Europe, Asia, Latin America and the US have urged world leaders to reach ambitious greenhouse gas emission targets at the upcoming Climate Conference in Paris.

CEOs from 78 companies across various industry sectors have teamed up with the World Economic Forum in Switzerland to offer governments their support to find climate policy solutions ahead of the UNFCCC’s Conference of the Parties (COP21) in Paris.

Heads of state and government from almost 200 countries are expected to attend the conference in the French capital to reach a new agreement to finalize a global agreement on how to battle climate change in the decades to come.

The message has been welcomed by the UN’s top climate official, Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), saying that climate action represents a "massive economic opportunity," adding it could be the source of new jobs and growth for the coming decades, especially in developing countries.

The chief executives behind the initiative include Marc Bolland, CEO of Britain's Marks & Spencer, Paul Bulcke of Swiss food giant Nestlé, Timotheus Höttges of Deutsche Telekom and Vishal Sikka of India's IT multinational Infosys.

The 78 top managers collectively represent $2.13 trillion (2 trillion euros) in revenue, equivalent to India’s GDP. Some of them lead companies in Asia and Latin America and pledge support for developing countries to adapt to a warmer world. A key challenge in climate negotiations is how emerging economies will find investment to shift to greener energy systems and build infrastructure to withstand the floods and heatwaves that scientists say are likely to increase as the climate changes.

tko/hg

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