As international climate change negotiations approach, top executives from business organizations in the world's 17 major economies will meet for the US Chamber of Commerce's Institute for 21st Century Energy.
The Major Economies Business Forum on Energy Security and Climate Change (MEBF) will be held in the state capital Sept. 21 and 22. The event's purpose is to facilitate a dialogue among global business groups in major developed and developing nations ahead of the UN climate change negotiations scheduled for early December in Copenhagen, Denmark.
"We are pleased to host business leaders from around the world for a candid discussion on the challenges and solutions to addressing global climate change while increasing energy options and economic growth," says Thomas J. Donohue, President and CEO of the US Chamber of Commerce and a keynote speaker at the forum's Welcome Dinner. "The Major Economies Business Forum should contribute to a more successful and realistic international climate change agreement in Copenhagen."
Among the confirmed speakers at the forum are US Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN); Governor Joe Manchin (D-WV); and US Representative James Sensenbrenner (R-WI.). On the agenda are discussions on increasing technology innovation and investments, bolstering the business community's voice in the negotiations, harnessing available capital for energy and efficiency projects, and ensuring competitiveness and economic development.
"As both domestic and international climate change negotiations continue, it is important to remember that it will be up to the private sector to execute the decisions made in Washington and Copenhagen," says Karen Harbert, President and CEO of the U.S. Chamber's Institute for 21st Century Energy. "The Chamber's Major Economies Business Forum will provide a real-time reality check on the negotiations by addressing the topics that matter most to the global business community like the nexus between energy security and climate policies, intellectual property rights, technology, competitiveness and economic growth."
Participants in the MEBF represent nearly 10 million businesses in the world's largest nations, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Europe, India and Japan. The MEBF is modeled after the government's Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate, which last met in July in Italy. The group's 17 nations collectively make up 80 percent of the world's GDP, nearly 75 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, and 77 percent of global energy consumption.