Last week, top executives and business groups from Canada, the United States, Europe and Japan met in Berlin, Germany at the B7 Summit. Canada’s delegation was lead by Monique Leroux, President and CEO of Desjardins Group. While at the Summit, the B7 issued a joint statement calling for G7 leaders to take action on key global challenges, including climate change and trade.
As host of next month’s G7 Summit in Schloss Elmau, the German government had asked for the B7’s input on its proposed agenda. Business leaders met with Chancellor Angela Merkel as well as the German Finance Minister, the Foreign Minister and the President of the Bundestag. During these meetings, the B7 highlighted the importance of achieving an ambitious outcome at the United Nations climate conference in Paris this fall as well as national measures to improve energy and resource efficiency.
While the B7 supports the move towards a low-carbon future, it nonetheless underscored the need for governments to put in place policies that enable sustainable oil and gas production. Climate change mitigation should target the demand side of the equation.
International trade was another high priority for the B7. Rising protectionism and the lack of progress on multilateral trade negotiations are of growing concern to B7 businesses, making regional agreements among G7 countries more important than ever.
Canadian business urged German officials to support the ratification of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the European Union.
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce is Canada’s official representative to the B7 and a strong voice in other international forums, such as the B20, the International Chamber of Commerce and the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit.