COP21 Breaking News_08 December: Global Business Community Comes to Paris with Solutions for Taking On the Climate Challenge Across the Board

Business COP21Paris, 8 December 2015. Nearly 400 business leaders gathered at the Lima-Paris Action Agenda Focus on Business in Paris today, calling for a strong Paris climate change agreement to help them implement the unprecedented set of cross-cutting corporate actions on climate which they are taking in key areas such as carbon pricing, finance, responsible policy engagement and science-based target setting.

High-level speakers, including UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, France Minister of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy Ségolène Royal, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, and the UN’s top climate change official Christiana Figueres, joined chief executives to advance the climate change agenda.

Participants will put forward an overview of all contributions by business and investors towards the COP21 UN climate change conference, highlighting commitments around concrete, cross-cutting solutions that impact the entire strategic management of a company.

The event also included an interactive discussion on pricing the cost of carbon emissions between more than 80 chief executives from the business sector.

Today’s announcements in the LPAA focus on Business demonstrate that a growing number of forward-looking companies and business leaders are taking the lead by transforming their business models for climate action. By doing so, they demonstrate that climate action can generate both profits and long-term value, and that the transition towards the low-carbon economy has started, is desirable and profitable.

The event is a high-level event of the Caring for Climate Business forum, organized by the UN Global Compact, UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the secretariat of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which come together under the banner of the world’s largest business coalition for climate change, backed by 450 CEOs in 65 countries.

Today’s focus closes a series of 12 sectoral events in which the private sector participation is essential in tackling climate change challenges. In the various areas, including transportation, energy efficiency and energy access, resilience, water management, forest protection and more, business and investors demonstrate that the climate challenge translates into market opportunities through innovation and long-term investments in low-carbon, climate-resilient technologies and policies.

Dozens of global companies commit to cross-cutting actions that impact their entire strategy

450 CEOs from 65 countries across 30 sectors commit to set targets, report on progress and work with policymakers to drive climate action. Mr. Jean-Pascal Tricoire, Chief Executive Officer, Schneider Electric, and President, Global Compact Network France, announced that through the joint Caring for Climate initiative, these companies commit to CO2 emissions reduction, investment in adaptation practices and increasing resilience. Since 2013, Caring for Climate signatories have reduced their carbon footprints by 12%. The new targets, if achieved, will generate an estimated annual emissions savings of 93.6 million metric tons CO2e or more than the annual carbon emissions of Peru.

64 CEOs representing USD 1.9 trillion in annual revenue commit to integrate carbon pricing into corporate long-term strategies, investment decisions, public policy efforts and to report on progress annually. Mr. Assaad Razzou, Chief Executive Officer, Sindicatum highlights that through the Business Leadership Criteria on Carbon Pricing, these CEOs have taken on the triple challenge of setting an internal carbon price, reporting publicly, and calling for carbon markets. Aligning with this criteria has proven challenging for companies, so those who have done so are leading the way and encouraging others to take a bold approach.

114 companies from around the world commit to engage responsibly on climate policy. Mr. Liu Zhenya, Chairman, State Grid Corporation of China, will explain that as part of the Responsible Corporate Engagement in Climate Policy commitment, these companies have agreed to: set up processes to internally audit all activities that a company takes part in that influences climate policy; work to ensure that all of this activity is consistent; and communicate on policy positions, actions and outcomes.

115 companies from around the world commit to align their emissions reductions targets in line with the level of decarbonization required to keep global temperature increase below 2°C, as part of the Setting Science-based Emissions Targets initiative, explained Ms. Yolanda Kakabadse Navarro, International President, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).

142 companies with a total market capitalization of over USD 100 billion and nearly 30 institutional investment firms with assets estimated at USD 2.5 trillion commit to producing climate change-related information in their mainstream reports, as part of the Statement on fiduciary duty and climate change disclosure initiative, that presented by Ms. Joanne Yawitch, CEO, National Business Initiative.

Business leaders gear up to call for ambitious climate agreement and commit to action

John Kerry, US Secretary of State, highlighted the support of over 154 U.S. companies taking action on climate change and the need for a climate change agreement in Paris that takes a strong step forward toward a low-carbon, sustainable future, through their commitment to the American Business Act on Climate Pledge.

Mr. Paul Polman, CEO, Unilever, announced that 79 chief executives, representing USD 2.13 trillion in revenue, have joined the Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders and committed their companies to reduce environmental and carbon footprints, set targets to reduce their emissions, and collaborate with supply chains and across sectors.

Mr. Jean-Pierre Clamadieu, Chief Executive Officer, Solvay announced that 39 global French companies have gathered in The French Business Climate Pledge and made a firm commitment to combat climate change, pledging at least 45 billion euros over the next 5 years for investments and financing in renewable energies, energy efficiency and other technologies accelerating the transition to a clean energy, low-carbon future.

Companies want to accelerate business leadership on carbon pricing with a 2020 time horizon

More than 80 chief executives proposed ways to accelerate business leadership on carbon pricing and share input to setting a meaningful price on carbon with a view to expanding carbon pricing policies around the world.Participants tackled critical issues, such as how business and governments can collaborate to achieve a global price on carbon, and what price level is necessary for governments to achieve their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs).

An unprecedent level of engagement from the private sector on NAZCA

Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC, underlined that the level of engagement from the private sector is unprecedented. In addition to the collaborative announcements that have benn pledged by business today, over 2,000 companies and 424 investors have registered climate commitments through the UNFCCC NAZCA portal. In total, the NAZCA portal has recorded over 10,000 climate actions by cities, regions and businesses.


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