Obama Urges Business Leaders to Join the Climate Change Fight
18 Nov 2015
“We have to come together around an ambitious framework”
(MANILA, Philippines) — Aggressive action to fight climate change will be a boon for businesses in Asia and beyond, President Barack Obama is asserting as he reaches for a global climate change agreement he hopes will burnish his environmental legacy.
World leaders are just weeks away from a deadline for an unprecedented carbon-reducing deal that environmentalists say offers the last, best hope to avert the worst effects of climate change. At a meeting of chief executives in Manila Wednesday, Obama sought to build momentum toward that still-unfinished agreement, as he prepares to travel to Paris in late November for the deal’s long-awaited conclusion.
In the Southeast Asian capital, Obama urged business leaders to reduce emissions in their operations and use their sway to pressure governments to sign on to the international pact.
“Your businesses can do right by your bottom lines and by our planet and future generations,” the president said. “The old rules that said we can’t grow our economy and protect our environment at the same time — those are outdated.”
Joining Obama on stage were Jack Ma, chairman of the Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba, and Aisa Mijeno, whose startup called Salt sells low-cost lamps that run on salt water.
Although Obama said no nation is immune to climate change’s consequences, he added that the Asia-Pacific region is particularly affected because of its low-lying islands. He said that without action to curb emissions, businesses will make less money amid economic disruptions and diminished agricultural production.
“We have to come together around an ambitious framework,” Obama said of the emerging climate pact.