Novozymes and COP15

In December 2009, Copenhagen hosted the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP15). The conference was seen as decisive concerning solutions to meet the climate challenges facing the world. But after two weeks of intense negotiations, the 194 nations did not succeed in reaching a legally binding agreement. Instead, the Copenhagen Accord that came out of the conference is a political declaration – a list of intentions that is being criticized for not setting any concrete targets to curb global climate change.

Novozymes is aware of the complexity of the challenge and acknowledges the enormous amount of work that took place before and during the conference, but we are disappointed at the outcome.

The words “technology,” “technology development,” and “technology transfer” appear again and again in the Copenhagen Accord. The words appear in paragraphs addressing very concrete needs, clearly illustrating the need for legitimate business involvement. There is a need for open and effective cooperation between governments and the business world as businesses have the necessary competencies to develop and transfer technology. More effective utilization of these kinds of competencies would be a way of dealing with part of the challenge.

Novozymes was present at the conference to make political leaders and other decision-makers aware of biotechnology as a route for reducing climate change. We managed to establish many relations at the conference that will be highly relevant in the years to come. It is essential for Novozymes to position biotechnology as part of the solution to curb CO2 emissions. In 2009, around 27 million tons of CO2 were avoided due to the application of enzymes sold by Novozymes.

A range of activities

During COP15, Novozymes carried out a whole range of activities . Representatives from the company participated in numerous events to position biotechnology, promote relations with customers, and build networks. Together with partners, Novozymes hosted a side event about the global potential of biofuels and another about sustainable agriculture and food production. The company also participated in a climate-friendly car parade in Copenhagen with flexfuel Volvos powered by advanced biofuel. One eye-catching event was a fashion summit at the Royal Opera House, where Novozymes exhibited our ideas about how biotechnology can help the fashion world to become more sustainable.