It is a pleasure to be with you this evening at the first annual meeting of the Corporate Leaders Group Chile Chapter. The first of many, I´m sure. I have only recently arrived in Chile and I feel fortunate that within my first few weeks I have had the honour of hosting the Board of Directors in my house and then attending this dinner.
This chapter of the CLG was established, of course, by HRH The Prince of Wales during his visit to Chile in 2009. I mentioned at the Board of Directors breakfast that I was already very familiar with the CLG concept from my last job as a Private Secretary for HRH. I have attended CLG meetings in a number of countries with him and he devotes considerable time to encouraging the creation of new CLG chapters and to following the work of existing ones. He will be delighted that I have been able to establish a relationship with you so soon after my arrival.
The CLG chapters in Chile, the UK and around the world play an important role in the development of new initiatives, policies and innovative solutions to combat climate change and help to accelerate the transition to a global low carbon economy. Supporting the Chilean CLG is therefore one of the top climate change priorities for our team at the British Embassy as well as for our partners at the British Chilean Chamber of Commerce.
And we have been delighted to witness how the CLG in Chile has grown in strength, increasing its membership to 18 companies this year. Much of this is due to the leadership of Thomas Keller and the Board of Directors as well as the energy and commitment of Executive Director, Marina Hermosilla.
I congratulate them. But I know that no one intends to rest on their laurels. CLG members worldwide are committed to playing a leadership role in combating climate change, both in terms of changing their own businesses and sectors, and in advocating change in the wider economic and political context. The CLG supports the goal of achieving, at a minimum, net zero emissions globally well before 2100, with at least 40% emissions reductions overall by 2030.
In the UK, many business leaders have embraced this challenge and are actively promoting low carbon transition as well as the commercial benefits of sustainable business. High profile examples include Richard Branson and Unilever’s Paul Polman. They are in good company. Across the globe we are seeing big corporations such as Nestle, Coca-Cola, Kellogg’s and Mars promoting sustainable business models.
But I think it´s fair to say that globally, as well as in Chile, we need more business leaders championing these issues. We need more Chilean businesses to follow the example that you - the 18 member companies of the CLG here- are setting.
At the Embassy, we look forward to playing our part in assisting Chile´s transition towards a low carbon future and in ensuring the further growth of the CLG.