Quantcast

Business Takes Leadership Role at COP21 Calling for Ambitious Climate Agreement

Business

In recent years, businesses have been indirectly part of the United Nations conference on climate change (UNFCCC COP). This has mostly been as observer parties or lobbyists. But this year, during COP21, is the first time that business is showing true constructive leadership and influence within the negotiations and on the side as well.

There will be more than 180 business events during COP21 — including the event I am organizing the World Climate Summit, which was the original business summit since 2009. There will also be, for the first time ever, a business solutions gallery in the official UN zone at the COP21 venue called "La Galerie COP21."

This week, more than 350 companies with US$8 trillion in revenue sent out strong messages about an unconditional support for an ambitious Paris climate agreement.

First the first time, We Mean Business Coalition released a Business Brief to all the COP21 negotiators that aims to assist the governments meeting in Paris to finalize the new international climate agreement. Indeed, business are not doing the usual "advocacy" work, but actually proposing a set of eight key asks for an ambitious agreement. They include:

  • Net Zero GHG emissions well before the end of the century.

  • Strengthen commitments every five years.

  • Enact meaningful carbon pricing.

  • New and additional climate finance at scale.

  • Transparency and accountability to promote a race to the top.

  • National commitments at the highest end of ambition.

  • Adaptation to build climate resilient economies and communities.

  • Pre-2020 ambition through workstream 2.

Secondly, the World Economic Forum launched a letter signed by 78 CEOs calling for urgent climate action. In it, the CEOs urge: “Governments to take bold action at the Paris climate conference (COP 21) in December 2015 to secure a more prosperous world for all of us.”

And finally, today more than 100 CEOs of cleantech startups signed a call to action with WWF. In it, they call for 100 percent renewable energy by 2050, scaling climate finance, get rid of fossil fuel subsidies and set science-based targets.

The statement goes on to offer three commitments from their companies and four tools for governments to use:

Commitments:

  • Voluntarily reduce GHG emissions

  • Act as ambassadors that climate change is real and solutions exist

  • Actively manage risks within their business

Vision:

  • Implementing a price on carbon

  • A strategic action agenda to stimulate innovation

  • Transparency and disclosure with regards to energy related activities

  • Setting science-based targets in business planning for the development of future energy

Hastening the shift to a low-carbon economy in an economically sustainable manner will generate growth and jobs in both the developing and developed world. Delaying action is not an option.

Businesses have never been so ready to support climate action and build a global low-carbon economy. The signals this week have been loud and clear. Now let’s hope that all governments do realize that business can be a force for good and that they are ready to support a global deal on climate change with them.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Groups Demand French President Lift Ban on Climate Protests and Marches

Interactive Tool Maps Final Draft of Paris Climate Deal

100% Renewable-Powered World ‘Technically Feasible and Economically Viable’ by 2030

‘Filthy’ Corporate Sponsors Bankrolling COP21 Exposed in New Report

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

By Gretchen Goldman

The Independent Particulate Matter Review Panel has released their consensus recommendations to the EPA administrator on the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Particulate Matter. The group of 20 independent experts, that were disbanded by Administrator Wheeler last October and reconvened last week, hosted by the Union of Concerned Scientists, has now made clear that the current particulate pollution standards don't protect public health and welfare.

Read More Show Less
An African elephant is pictured on November 19, 2012, in Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe. MARTIN BUREAU / AFP / Getty Images

The unprecedented drought that has caused a water crisis in Zimbabwe has now claimed the life of at least 55 elephants since September, according to a wildlife spokesman, as CNN reported.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Maria Dornelas.

By John C. Cannon

Life is reshuffling itself at an unsettling clip across Earth's surface and in its oceans, a new study has found.

Read More Show Less
An Exxon station in Florida remains open despite losing its roof during Hurricane Katrina on Aug. 29, 2005. Florida Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Shaun Withers

The country's largest fossil fuel company goes on trial today to face charges that it lied to investors about the safety of its assets in the face of the climate crisis and potential legislation to fight it, as the AP reported.

Read More Show Less
El Niño's effect on Antarctica is seen in a tabular iceberg off of Thwaites ice shelf. Jeremy Harbeck / NASA

El Niños are getting stronger due to climate change, according to a new study in Monday's Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored

By Julia Ries

  • Antibiotic resistance has doubled in the last 20 years.
  • Additionally a new study found one patient developed resistance to a last resort antibiotic in a matter of weeks.
  • Health experts say antibiotic prescriptions should only be given when absolutely necessary in order to avoid growing resistance.

Over the past decade, antibiotic resistance has emerged as one of the greatest public health threats.

Read More Show Less
Pexels


There are hundreds of millions of acres of public land in the U.S., but not everyone has had the chance to hike in a national forest or picnic in a state park.

Read More Show Less
Workers attend to a rooftop solar panel project on May 14, 2017 in Wuhan, China. Kevin Frayer / Getty Images

By Simon Evans

Renewable sources of electricity are set for rapid growth over the next five years, which could see them match the output of the world's coal-fired power stations for the first time ever.

Read More Show Less