Senior vice president of Green and Corporate Community Investment looks forward to the promise of a dedicated buildings day at this year's UN climate summit
BusinessGreen is asking key green business leaders for their views on the importance of the climate change talks due to take place in the French capital at the end of this year.
This week we spoke to Jennifer Clark, senior vice president of Green and Corporate Community Investment at Skanska about her hopes for the crucial summit.
What do you hope to see achieved in Paris?
We hope to see a strong statement from our lead politicians; a progressive agreement that will limit global warming to below 2C and will help provide long term policy certainty; rewarding those that have been investing in green solutions and incentivising others to follow.
What do you think will be agreed?
I am very confident that the negotiators are well aware of the urgency. I am personally much encouraged by the fact that the construction industry is increasingly seen as an essential part of the solution to achieve the below 2C objective, signified by the fact that COP21 will host the first ever Buildings Day.
How would a Paris deal impact your business?
A progressive deal will see more demand for future proof projects and an increased value chain cooperation helping curb climate change and improving business benefits. Skanska has long invested in Our Journey to Deep Green, which represents a new approach to construction and development and puts climate and resource considerations at the heart of our business. Skanska Deep Green projects are projects with a near zero environmental impact and demand a Net Zero or better energy performance. These future proof projects are typically delivered in close cooperation with our customers, municipalities and suppliers.
Do you think green businesses are making themselves heard?
It is difficult for individual businesses to have their individual voices heard at the COP, but the key is to have climate change placed firmly at the core of your business, recognising it is not solely a policymakers' problem. To make our voice heard we work with reputable international organizations that effectively represent the voice of progressive green business; for instance in dialogue with the French Government and COP21, in designing a relevant agenda for the upcoming Buildings Day.
In 240 characters what would your message be to the lead negotiators?
We ask negotiators to consider the opportunities that our industry can provide to help curb climate change below 2C and help us act on them.
Are you going to the Paris summit and how are you getting there?
Yes, because of the increased profile of our sector at COP21 and the consequent opportunity to contribute in a more meaningful way; I will be going to the Paris summit and will be going by train!
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