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A group of global businesses is calling on world leaders to agree on a legally binding United Nations framework to tackle climate change during negotiations that begin next week as part of the Conference of the Parties in Bali, Indonesia.

The communication was signed by representatives from 150 global companies, including acciona Energia, Fortis, General Electric, Pacific Gas & Electric Co., PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Scottish Power, the parent company of PPM Energy. The effort was led by The Prince of Wales's U.K. and EU Corporate Leaders Groups on Climate Change and supported by World Wildlife Fund.

In their communication, the signatories noted that "overall targets for emissions reduction must be guided primarily by science," adding that evidence from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) already points to a reduction being required of "at least 50% by 2050," and the "greatest effort" will need to be made by those countries that have already industrialized.

The companies are urging world leaders to set a "work-plan of comprehensive negotiations" to ensure an agreement can come into force after 2012, when the existing Kyoto Protocol expires.

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