(BN) Coca-Cola CEO Says More Than One Climate Accord Needed (Update1)


Coca-Cola CEO Says More Than One Climate Accord Needed (Update1)
2010-11-30 12:14:30.662 GMT

(Adds India minister, Temple professor comments from fifth

By Kim Chipman
Nov. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Coca-Cola Co. Chief Executive
Officer Muhtar Kent said multiple international accords, not a
single treaty, are needed to fight climate change.
"I don't think one treaty can work for the world," Kent,
58, said in an interview in Cancun, Mexico, where delegates from
more than 190 countries are gathered for United Nations-led
talks on setting rules to limit global warming.
The world's largest soft-drink maker is among companies in
the Mexican resort lobbying envoys on the shape of an eventual
accord that may restrict emissions from burning fossil fuels,
channel up to $100 billion to poor nations and protect forests.
A year ago in Copenhagen, delegates failed to draft a
treaty, leaving in limbo the 1997 Kyoto accord that mandated
cuts in carbon-dioxide emissions until the end of 2012. While
envoys aim to replace that agreement with new commitments, UN
officials say a treaty is unlikely to be drafted this year.
Comments by India's environment minister and Kent add
strength to suggestions from climate envoys that working for a
single binding treaty may not be the best way forward for the
negotiations set to end Dec. 10.
"An international agreement is not anywhere on the
horizon," Jairam Ramesh said today in New Delhi. "Action has to
be domestic. That's what the last 15 months has shown."

Rich, Poor Divide

Since the Copenhagen round of talks concluded with a non-
binding agreement, negotiators have been unable to bridge the
divide between richer nations bound by the Kyoto treaty and
poorer countries led by China and India that reject similar
rules for their industrializing economies. Indian and Chinese
leaders say their priorities are economic growth and ending
"We've been at it for 18 years on climate change but
that's not unique," said Duncan Hollis, an associate professor
at Temple University's Beasley School of Law in Philadelphia and
editor of the "Oxford Guide to Treaties" to be published next
year. "Breaking this up into smaller pieces and trying to knock
off one piece at a time is certainly worth trying."
Momentum is building instead for extending national and
regional plans to limit greenhouse gases, from domestic carbon
markets to renewable-energy standards, in which utilities are
forced to include a fixed percentage of clean energy in the mix
they sell to consumers.

Indian Viewpoint

The UN talks in their second day today in Mexico are moving
away from a global treaty, Ramesh said. Meetings instead should
focus on "domestic actions," the minister said, adding that
India won't accept limits on growth set by other nations.
While executives from 400 companies including Tesco Plc and
Unilever NV released a statement saying they'd work to end
deforestation and use of refrigerants that harm the atmosphere,
the Coca-Cola executive went further, delving into the politics
of treaty-making.
"There can't be just one framework," Kent said, adding
that "you can't judge India's progress with the same metrics as
U.S. progress."
The UN framework needs to become "more flexible" and
allow countries to have different timelines for moving ahead
with efforts to curb fossil-fuel emissions, Kent said.

Government Incentives

While companies can accomplish much on their own to reduce
emissions and protect the environment, only governments can set
a price on carbon and provide the incentives needed to spur
shifts in energy use, he said.
President Barack Obama failed to win passage in Congress
this year of legislation to cap carbon emissions linked to
global warming. Prospects for action will grow slimmer next year
when Republicans take control of the House of Representatives
and expand their minority in the Senate. Dozens of Republican
lawmakers elected this month have expressed skepticism about
global warming or action to curb it.

For Related News and Information:
Coca-Cola climate change: KO US <Equity> TCNI CLIMATE <GO>
Top environment stories: GREEN <GO>
Most-read environmental news: MNI ENV <GO>
Renewable energy stories: NI ALTNRG <GO>
Emissions-market news: NI ENVMARKET <GO>

--With assistance from Randall Hackley in London and Natalie
Obiko Pearson in New Delhi. Editors: Peter Langan, Todd White

To contact the reporter on this story:
Kim Chipman in Cancun, Mexico, at +1-202-624-1927 or

To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Reed Landberg at +44-20-7330-7862 or