ONE of the region's biggest employers in the science sector has joined a campaign urging world leaders to close a deal on climate change when they meet next month.
AkzoNobel, which has 900 staff at the International Paint factory in Felling, Gateshead, has thrown its weight behind The Copenhagen Communiqué on Climate Change.
The company’s chief executive has added his name to the list of hundreds of other global business leaders who are calling on world governments to strike a deal on climate change in Copenhagen in December.
Hans Wijers’ name will be added to the list, which also includes Jeremy Darroch – the Northumberland-born chief executive of BSkyB.
The initiative is aimed at becoming the definitive statement from the business community ahead of the Conference of the Parties 15 (COP15) in Copenhagen in December.
It is a short statement, covering some of the key thinking that has come from businesses over the last two years on how to tackle climate change.
The target is for more than 1000 companies from across the globe representing every G20 country, to sign up by next month.
One of the reasons Mr Wijers cites for supporting the initiative is because it points out that the right economic backdrop is required if industry leaders are expected to invest in low carbon technology.
He also said he was aware that the shipping industry had found itself in the environmental spotlight recently amid criticism that it has not done enough to limit its emissions.
International Paint is a market leader in hull coatings which can help reduce fuel usage and environmental impact of ships.
As the Communiqué – which is backed by Cambridge University and The Prince of Wales – states: “The problem of climate change is solvable - many of the technologies required are available today while others can be developed if he right incentives are in place.”
Julian Hunter of International Paint’s regulatory affairs division, based at the Felling plant, said: “Modern foul release coatings can make a huge difference right now to ships’ fuel consumption and therefore their emissions. We can demonstrate some remarkable fuel savings figures.”