Mega-corporations sign U.N.-sponsored climate compact

More than 150 companies, including Ikea, Unilever, and Coca-Cola, have signed a U.N.-sponsored climate declaration that commits them to setting and reporting on emissions-reduction goals, while asking governments to enact a post-Kyoto, market-based plan. OK, it’s a voluntary pact with a touchy-feely name — “Caring for Climate: The Business Leadership Platform” — but its very existence speaks volumes about changes in the business world. “Climate change is shaping global markets and global consumer attitudes,” says U.N. Environment Program head Achim Steiner. “There will be winners and losers. Companies who … evolve, innovate, and respond to these challenges are likely to be the pioneers and industry leaders of the 21st century.” At the head of the wagon train: Coke head Neville Isdell, who took the stage with U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon at this week’s Global Compact summit to push corporate responsibility. “In the 21st century,” Isdell says, “you’re going to have to be seen as a steward of the planet.”