Business community calls on policymakers to join forces on COP21 and post-Paris actions

Reading time: 4 minutes
21 May 2015

PARIS: A group of 25 global business networks has issued a call for action to government leaders ahead of COP21, asking for carbon pricing systems and an increase in the public funds pledged in Copenhagen, to foster the transition to a low carbon economy.

Global business and corporate leaders who gathered in Paris for the Business & Climate Summit, the cornerstone event of Climate Week Paris which is organized by The Climate Group, decided to join their voices in a common message for policymakers working to have a draft agreement ready by the 21st Conference of Parties in December.

The message that was issued was based on three key pillars:

  • a call for carbon pricing mechanisms and elimination of fossil fuel subsidies
  • the need for collaboration between private and public sector to ensure commitments are met
  • an increase of public funds compared to the US$100 billion per year that was pledged in Copenhagen, to make sure the global transition to a low carbon economy is possible, especially in developing countries.

Mark Kenber, CEO, The Climate Group, commented on the call to action: “The business community has raised its voice and is ready to play a key role in the post-Paris scenario. Businesses are already demonstrating the benefits of climate action, for example through initiatives such as RE100, but they still require the outcome at COP21 to ensure they have the long term certainty needed to scale up innovation, investment and deployment of green corporate strategies.

“All the events during Climate Week Paris this week have proven that businesses want to collaborate with policymakers to accelerate the transition to a low carbon economy.”

During Climate Week Paris, The Climate Group announced that three new companies from around the world, Unilever, Infosys and Marks & Spencer have joined its RE100 campaign, committing to reduce their carbon footprint by going 100% renewable.

Emily Farnworth, Campaign Director, RE100 commented on the bold actions that businesses are taking following the new announcements at Climate Week Paris: “These commitments are further evidence that businesses are willing to take action, and we are happy to welcome on board new corporate partners in such a significant moment, 200 days ahead of COP21. It provides a strong message that business is taking bold steps to tackle climate change.”

The role of the business community was also stressed by Paul Polman, CEO, Unilever: When faced with the challenges of climate change, businesses should be part of the solution. Companies that have seized lowcarbon opportunities are increasingly seeing rewards.

“To go further, we need a strong international climate agreement that sends a clear and credible signal to businesses that low carbon policies will endure.”

NEWS FROM CLIMATE WEEK PARIS

By Denise Puca


Climate Week Paris, which is convened by The Climate Group, takes place from May 18-24, 2015. See the full calendar of events by visiting ClimateWeekParis.org

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