Competition at stake in Copenhagen, CIAA

By Jess Halliday

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Climate change, Barack obama, Ciaa

The EU food and drink industry is keen for a deal in Copenhagen next month as ongoing uncertainty over climate change policy would undermine its ability to invest profitably and innovate, says the CIAA.

The sourcing of raw materials used in food and beverage products is crucially dependent on healthy eco-systems in which they are grown. A number of industry-driven initiatives are already in swing throughout the length of the food chain, such as the Sustainable Agriculture Initiative (SAI) Platform.

The Confederation of the Food and Drink Industries of the EU (CIAA) pointed out in its new pre-COP position statement that agriculture and related industries, such as food and drink, contribute to nutritional, social and economic well-being of communities.

It says any global agreement should take as its basis the balance between maintaining this contribution and creating an environmentally effective and globally-equitable legal framework on climate change that will enable greenhouse gas cuts.

With a long-term view, such a policy framework would give companies legal certainty, and incentives for making investments in low-carbon technologies, products, services and infrastructure, the umbrella group argues.

The CIAA’s position is that binding commitments be made by both developed and developing countries. This would safeguard global competition for the food and drink industry, as all players would have to fulfil the same set of obligations.

And if such agreements are not forthcoming, it sees it as “essential” that EU policy-makers implement adequate support measures that will let industries in the EU make the necessary emissions reductions, but while still keeping the international playing field level.

“Developing countries must be granted adequate long-term support for both mitigation and adaptation,”​ says the CIAA.

The UNFCCC COP-15 conference will take place in Amsterdam on 7 to 18 December. Originally planned as a meeting for environment ministers, the climate change agenda is so important that many heads of states have signalled their attendance – including US president Barack Obama, whom it was feared would not go.

The CIAA’s position statement is available here

Related topics: Sustainability, Policy

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