Irish Business Leaders call for strong agreement at COP21

BITCI News - Dec 04, 2015

Media Release: Some of Ireland’s leading companies today issued a call for a robust global agreement on climate change to be signed at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP21) in Paris.These progressive Irish businesses want COP21 to agree a definite roadmap for global commerce, ensuring strong policy and regulatory certainty through a new agreement on climate change.

Senior industry figures say this will guarantee action on climate change and the world’s smooth transition to a low carbon economy creating more jobs and prosperity.

Pledges on climate change action have been collected through the CDP Ireland Network We Mean Business Coalition, Business in the Community Ireland (BITCI), the Irish Green Building Council (IGBC), Dublin Chamber of Commerce and the International Sustainability & Investment Centre (ISI Centre).

In presenting these pledges to the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, Alan Kelly TD, these organisations welcomed work to date including the passing today of the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Bill 2015 by both houses of the Oireachtas but acknowledged the need now for leadership at both a global and national level.

Today’s announcement was welcomed by Minister Kelly who said: “The need to address climate change and reduce harmful emissions has become a priority for Ireland – and the COP21 pledges are evidence of Irish business commitment. As part of this initiative, companies are making significant climate action pledges including reducing their emissions, increasing low-carbon investments and deploying more clean energy in the coming years.”

Ireland has many companies that are demonstrating leadership on the issue of climate change.

A number of Business in the Community Ireland members have come together to demonstrate their commitment to this important issue. Arup, BAM Ireland, Deloitte Ireland, Marks & Spencer, Musgrave Group, PM Group, Ricoh Ireland Ltd., Roadbridge, Sodexo Ireland, SSE Airtricity, Transdev Ireland and Veolia have all signed the ‘COP21 Commitment and call for action from Irish Business Leaders’ which calls for strong policy and regulatory certainty through a sound global agreement in Paris. Tina Roche, CEO, Business in the Community Ireland said: “By signing up to this statement, these organisations are demonstrating leadership on this issue and committing to genuine action into the future.”CDP Ireland We Mean Business Coalition also support a new universal climate agreement at COP21 and the new pledge by Irish business. Irish based companies reporting to CDP Ireland including Kingspan, CRH and Diageo have already taken steps to safeguard future prosperity by committing to this initiative. The Irish Green Building Council (IGBC) has also encouraged and facilitated its members to make their own specific commitments. Ecocem, Saint-Gobain and Varming Consulting Engineers have all submitted commitments through the IGBC. Green building is considered one of the most cost-effective solutions to climate change. More than 300 of Ireland’s International Sustainability & Investment Centre national enterprise partners play a leading role in accelerating the transition to a low-carbon economy. The Centre as the Irish lead partner with ClimateKIC, Europe’s largest public-private innovation partnership focused on climate change, welcomed today’s public commitments. Dublin Chamber of Commerce has a strong focus on helping firms in the Dublin region to ‘go green’. Aebhric McGibney, Public & International Affairs Director, Dublin Chamber of Commerce said: “Going forward, merely paying lip-service to sustainable practices will no longer be enough.”


For further information please contact CSR Adviser Lorraine Fitztgerald


The 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 21) is being held in Paris, from November 30 to December 11. It will be the 21st yearly session of the Conference of the Parties to the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Link to Business in the Community Ireland pledge:


Pictured above: Representatives from Irish leading business organisations submit their climate pledges to Alan Kelly, TD, Minister of Environment, Community &  Local Government.
From left to right: Pat Barry, Executive Director, Irish Green  Building Council – Lorraine Fitzgerald, CSR Adviser, Business in the Community Ireland – Aebhric McGibney, Public & International Affairs Director, Dublin Chamber of Commerce – Alan Kelly, TD, Minister of Environment, Community & Local Government – Aideen O’Hara, Director of Sustainable Innovation, ISI Centre – Brian O’Kennedy, Chairman, CDP Ireland Network.