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ustainability means reflecting upon thelong-term consequences of every action,i.e. thinking long-term. This alsoincludes achieving a careful balancebetween social, economic and environmental aspects.Particularly for businesses, sustainable concepts are becoming an increasingly more importantdifferentiation criterion as they provide the foundationfor long-term planning and investment activities.However, long-term actions by companies requireclear framework conditions. This long-term perspective is particularly important incombating climate change. One of the greatestchallenges of the 21st century can only be faced byfocussing on sustainability. Here this is not aboutindividual regions of the world. All continents areaffected by the impacts of climate change. This globalproblem needs a global solution, which in turn requiresglobal action. In order to get climate change undercontrol, the long-term objective must thus be acomprehensive and globally binding agreement for theyears after 2012. USING ALL WAYS AND MEANS The UN Climate Conference in Copenhagendemonstrated that it is difficult to achieve far-reachingresults at the UNFCCC level. In order to achieve theobjective of promptly concluding a climate agreementand providing new impetus for the negotiation process,other bodies should thus be used more intensely, forexample the G8, the G20, the OECD as well as theMajor Economics Forum on Energy and ClimateChange. These bodies can serve as the diplomaticstructures for re-establishing trust and for successfullyapproaching emerging countries and industrial nations.THE "COPENHAGEN ACCORD" IS NOT SUFFICIENT The conclusion of an agreement to succeed theKyoto Protocol is urgently needed. Only clearframework conditions enable companies to makelong-term plans. Obscurities lead to higher costs andproblems for industry because urgently neededinvestments and innovations for reducing CO2emissions could be delayed. In the "Copenhagen Accord" the signatories state theobjective as being to limit the increase of globalwarming to less than 2°C. Compliance with thisobjective demanded by scientists in order to stabiliseclimate change requires a fundamental restructuring ofglobal energy systems and thus high investments in theprivate sector as well. In this connection, businessesare facing the resulting challenges with a great deal ofself-confidence. However, they can only make theircontribution under certain conditions. This includes thesuccessor agreement for Kyoto. The "CopenhagenAccord" is a good start, however, it is not sufficient. RESPONSIBLE ROLE OF BUSINESSES AND INDUSTRIAL NATIONS Taking action to combat climate change means takingresponsible action. With the development ofenvironmentally friendly technologies and investmentactivities, the economy is making its contributiontowards combating climate change. Companies are very aware of their role and are assuming theirresponsibility. However, the framework conditionsmust be right so that the economy can make itscontribution. ?CLIMATE PROTECTION AFTER COPENHAGEN: REMARKS FROM A BUSINESS PERSPECTIVE046SUSTAINABLE BUSINESSSPROFESSOR HANNS MICHAEL HOELZ, CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD OF ECONSENSE -FORUM FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OF GERMAN BUSINESS E.V. " "ENVIRONMEN-TALLY FRIENDLYPRODUCTS ANDTECHNOLOGIESARE RIGHTFULLYEXPERIENCING AGLOBAL BOOMRight: solar panels inKarlsruhe, GermanyPhoto: © European Union, 2010