World's major corporates seeing “genuine bottom-line benefits” of low carbon investment
- 05 September 2015
NEW YORK: As part of our #CWNYC countdown, our next Climate TV video interview is with Ben Ferrari, Director of Partnerships, The Climate Group, who says the world’s major corporates are now seeing the “genuine bottom-line benefits” of low carbon investments.
In the video interview, Ben Ferrari outlines the significance of the business community’s transition toward a low carbon economy: “For a long time the more far-sighted managers and directors of these companies have believed there is a prize to be captured. But now they can really demonstrate that fact to their shareholders, to their employees and to the consuming public.”
While this movement has built “unstoppable” momentum, the Director warns “that is not to say that all our problems are solved. Policymakers still have a great deal to do to accelerate the change we need – but I am confident the corporate sector is beginning to play the best part in delivering the changes we want.”
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Despite the level of commitment from companies though, Ben Ferrari explains that corporates cannot deliver change “without a stable and predictable policy and financial framework”, and suggests why the world’s biggest businesses want a global climate deal: “It is a very strong signal to the corporate world that governments are going to be consistent, committed and determined to make the difference. That will give the confidence to invest and to act more quickly. That’s why a strong, unambiguous deal in Paris is essential.”
Ben Ferrari also draws on examples of low carbon business leadership through The Climate Group’s projects, such as RE100, as well as work with sub-national governments. “That campaign is challenging major corporates to commit to 100% renewable energy. For a multinational company operating in multiple environments, that is difficult – we know that.
“So, it’s not just about setting the bar high, it’s about making sure there is technical support, making sure companies can learn from other companies in a peer-to-peer learning environment, and is about involving our sub-national partners in developing the incentives and policies to enable progressive corporates to deliver on these commitments.”
While the spotlight is on the global climate talks and the role of governments and international organizations, Ben Ferrari emphasizes the parallel importance of individuals’ low carbon choices, especially in their homes. The Climate Group’s Home 2025 project aims to shine a light on some of the most innovative emerging technologies, products and services that will make low carbon homes a reality.
“There’s a huge potential to save emissions through the way we build new homes, but the opportunities are not evenly distributed – even within the developed world.”
He adds: “The vast majority of the buildings that will exist in Europe in 2050 have already been built. So there’s a massive opportunity to look at the renovation of these buildings. That can create healthier living spaces, lower emissions through better use of energy, and it can also create huge employment opportunities in the retrofit and in the renovation process.
Carbon pricing is also covered in the interview when Ben Ferrari talks about the work of CDP, which is a member of We Mean Business along with The Climate Group: “Many major corporates are already using a carbon price to assess their own internal investments programs. So, the notion that corporates can’t bear a carbon price is nonsense.”
COUNTDOWN TO #CWNYC
Our digital countdown to Climate Week NYC 2015 runs from September 1-20.
Each day The Climate Group is releasing exclusive conversations with key figures from the worlds of business and politics and beyond – through video, social media and blogs – as well as expert briefings. Follow @ClimateGroup for the latest.
See the full gallery of #CWNYC graphics and tweets to join the countdown, by clicking below.
Climate Week NYC is a key event in the international calendar that brings together leading governments, investors, businesses, innovators and opinion formers. The Climate Group launched Climate Week NYC in 2009, and has acted as the secretariat since its inception.
Host to more than 100 affiliate events from September 21-28, Climate Week NYC 2015 is the collaborative space for climate events in support of the UN Summit to adopt the Post-2015 Development Agenda.