France's Macron, Michael Bloomberg seek better monitoring of business climate action

French President Emmanuel Macron (left) with Michael Bloomberg in Paris, France, on Dec 12, 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS

PARIS (REUTERS) - French President Emmanuel Macron and UN Special Climate Envoy Michael Bloomberg on Friday (June 3) announced creation of a new committee as part of efforts to enhance transparency to monitor business climate actions through an open data platform.

International leaders and more investors have been agreeing on the need to improve transparency about climate action, with activists accusing companies of "greenwashing" with splashy announcements of programmes that do little to reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions.

"This lack of standardised, accessible data is limiting the power of markets and the public to fight climate change," the French presidency said in a statement.

"Private sector leaders have made bold commitments to tackle climate change, but often find their hands tied by a lack of accurate data," Bloomberg, a billionaire entrepreneur and former mayor of New York, was cited as saying.

The proposed new committee will bring together international organisations, regulators, policy makers and data service providers charged with designing an open-data public platform that will collect and standardise net-zero transition data in the private sector.

French President Macron has been keen to demonstrate international leadership in the fight against global warming despite criticism by environmentalists and climate scientists at home. Last year, he pledged to create a "One Planet Data Hub", similarly aimed at bundling comprehensive data on climate matters in a publicly accessible way.

Bloomberg, UN Special Envoy on Climate Ambition and Solutions, in Friday's statement said the new platform would make it "much harder for companies to 'greenwash' or make empty promises that don't actually cut emissions, by forcing them to back up words with action".

The Climate Data Steering Committee will present findings and share a roadmap for a global open-data platform in September during the United Nations General Assembly in New York, the Elysee said in the statement.

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