Reuters reports that the United Nations wants immediate action to put in place rules for a post-Kyoto climate change agreement. The Kyoto climate treaty expires in 2012, and uncertainty about what comes next has limited long term investment from the corporate world.
"Business officials told the conference they needed long-term, stable regulations to invest in new clean energy technologies and develop the emissions trading market further.
"There has to be a value for the carbon beyond 2012 in order to drive the changes necessary ... The time to act is now," said Graeme Sweeney, Executive Vice President Renewables, Hydrogen and CO2 at oil giant Royal Dutch Shell.
ABN AMRO's sustainable development director Richard Burrett agreed: "A lot of the technologies we are talking about have economic lives of 15-20-30 years. There is no way people will commit to invest with a scheme that runs out in 2012."