With the United Nations COP20 climate negotiations underway in Lima, the British, German and French Embassies hosted a climate seminar with the Commerce Committee of the Finnish Parliament, the Eduskunta, on 2 December. The Chair of the Commerce Committee, Mauri Pekkarinen MP, opened the seminar and the three Ambassadors offered their national climate policy priorities. The British Ambassador set out the UK’s response to climate change with the world’s first Climate Change Act. Her German colleague noted the groundswell of public support in Germany for renewable energy sources, while the French Ambassador highlighted France’s priorities for a successful COP21 in Paris in December 2015.
The aim of the seminar was to discuss perspectives on climate change and economic growth. The three keynote speakers, Daniele Viappiani, Economic Advisor at the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change, Michel Colombier, Scientific Director at the French Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations IDDRI and from Germany Christian Breyer, Professor of Solar Economy at the Lappeenranta University of Technology, concluded that a transition to a low carbon economy need not come at the expense of economic growth. Viappiani introduced the New Climate Economy report that sets out a ten point global action plan on how to secure sustainable growth.
Marjo Matikainen-Kallström MP, a member of the Finnish delegation to the climate negotiations in Lima talked about the need for a global regulatory framework that would help countries, businesses and other climate stakeholders to create low carbon opportunities. All speakers were optimistic that a global climate deal will be reached in Paris in 2015. But the ambition level of the deal will depend on how willing countries are to move away from business as usual – a key in transitioning climate resilient growth.