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Launch of "Principles on climate leadership" in San Francisco

(San Francisco, 1 March 2007) - The United Nations Global Compact, the City of San Francisco, the Bay Area Council and a wide array of Bay Area businesses today launched a unique partnership designed to provide meaningful actions that businesses and cities around the world can take to combat global warming.
The initiative - the Principles on Climate Leadership - will give Bay Area businesses a strategic framework to address climate change as well as a forum to share best practices to reduce greenhouse gasses in both large and small companies. In addition, the initiative will create a model for climate action in the commercial and public sectors that the UN Global Compact will seek to place in companies and cities around the world.   
More the 20 companies from a variety of sectors, including Gap Inc., Gensler, Google, PG&E and Shaklee, officially endorsed the Principles and, in relation, announced the Business Council on Climate Change (BC3) at a special event in San Francisco - the city that gave birth to the United Nations with the signing of the UN Charter in 1945. More than 100 leaders from business, government and civil society attended the event, which was presided over by San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom.    
"Voluntary initiatives such as the BC3 and the Principles on Climate Leadership will be crucial in bringing about progressive and robust action on the global climate crisis", said Georg Kell, Executive Director of the UN Global Compact. "At the same time, it is important to keep in mind that voluntary action cannot be a substitute for effective regulation - rather, it informs and complements regulation".
"Local actions can have a positive effect on the entire planet," observed San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom.  "The Bay Area is fortunate to have a visionary business community that is willing to get out in front of a daunting issue like global warming, and we are honored that the United Nations Global Compact will be working to bring this message to other communities and companies around the world."
BC3 member companies pledge to address greenhouse emissions throughout their operations and corporate cultures, and agree to follow the five Principles on Climate Leadership: Internal Implementation, Community Leadership, Advocacy and Dialogue, Collective Action, Transparency and Disclosure.  
"The Bay Area Council has been an environmental leader for decades, but this may be one of our most ambitious projects ever," said Jim Wunderman, President of the Bay Area Council, the area's largest business association.  "We, and our business community members, are proud to help focus the region's entrepreneurial spirit and ingenuity on an issue so critical to our economic future."
The United Nations Global Compact will showcase the BC3 initiative and the core Principles on Climate Leadership at its Leaders Summit on 5-6 July 2007 in Geneva, Switzerland - an event that is expected to draw nearly 1000 business and government leaders as well as representatives of civil society from around the world. Addressing climate change will be a priority topic at the Leaders Summit.
Founding members of the BC3 comprise a diverse range of companies, including: 3 Phases Energy; AccessFlow; ARUP; CH2M Hill; Clif Bar; EcoAdvantage Network; Food from the Park; Gap Inc.; Gensler; Google; Green Impact; Green Squared Consulting; Hallisey & Johnson; HOK; New Resource Bank; Organic Architect; PG&E; Ponderosa Homes; Shaklee; SMWM Architecture; Solutions; Swinerton; Waldeck?s; Webcor; Wendel, Rosen, Black and Dean; and William McDonough + Partners.
For further information, please contact Mr Gavin Power, Senior Advisor, UN Global Compact: powerg@un.org.
Please click here to access the Principles on Climate Leadership

Click here for Keynote Remarks by Gavin Power