Some of the world's top companies vowed on Friday to step up their efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions, saying governments were failing to show sufficient leadership in the fight against global warming.
A dozen corporations including Sony Corp, Nokia Corp, Nike Inc and Hewlett-Packard Co issued an urgent call for firms around the world to reduce the damage they inflict on the planet and to promote a "low carbon lifestyle".
"There is no doubt that climate change is one of the most important issues of our time," Sony chief executive Howard Stringer told a meeting hosted by the Japanese electronics giant and the WWF environmental group.
"Governments are more easily distracted by the crisis of today than the crisis of tomorrow," he said. "We need to act now."
The companies, which describe themselves as "Climate Savers", did not announce any new goals for reducing their carbon dioxide emissions as they have already committed to individual targets.
Instead they pledged to urge their business partners and other companies to follow their lead, to develop energy efficient products and to encourage their customers to lead an environmentally friendly lifestyle.
"We are moving into a carbon-constrained world, a low carbon economy -- a new economy," said James Leape, director general of WWF International.
"We need champions. There are precious few political leaders in this world yet who are stepping up to the level of action that is required."
There is also an economic rationale for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, business leaders said.
"I don't think ... any company is going to be able to survive if it is not working in a sustainable way," said Jaime Santafe, an environment advisor at Swiss-based packaging giant Tetra Pak.
The captains of industry issued their call as officials from the United Nations and 21 countries held a second day of talks in Tokyo as part of efforts to forge a new deal on fighting global warming by the end of next year. (AFP)
Business chiefs vow to lead fight against global warming