Heat is on the G7 as business leaders demand net zero target ahead of Paris

Clare Saxon Ghauri
Reading time: 3 minutes
5 June 2015

LONDON: The We Mean Business coalition has today published a letter, signed by The Climate Group, which asks the G7 leaders ahead of their high-profile annual meeting this weekend to ramp up their climate efforts.

Our letter calls for the G7 leaders to support net zero greenhouse gas emissions before the end of the century, when they meet to agree a global climate deal at COP21 in Paris this December.

With Germany holding Presidency of the Group of Seven (G7), Chancellor Angela Merkel is hosting the world leaders – Canada, France, Italy, Japan, UK and US – at Schloss Elmau in Bavaria to discuss the global economy, with critical issues including energy security, development policy and climate change high on the agenda.

On behalf of the thousands of businesses the coalition represents, our letter urges the G7 to redouble its climate actions, stating: "Today business leaders ask you to seize the opportunity presented by the forthcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris (COP21) to honor these commitments. Specifically, we ask you to endorse a global objective of net zero greenhouse gas emissions well before the end of the century in the Paris agreement. We further ask you to encourage all countries joining the Paris agreement to detail national decarbonization pathways to 2050."

Explaining that for Paris to be a success business needs more than just an agreement, we affirm that a net-zero target provides the clear long-term decarbonization signals businesses require in order to accelerate low carbon investment: "This will not be accomplished with a silver bullet, but through a portfolio of solutions, which build a global decarbonization pathway. As governments provide an enabling policy environment, business will be the engine of innovation, investment and cross-sectoral partnerships needed to build this path."

We Mean Business is a coalition of organizations working with the world’s most influential businesses and investors, who recognize that the transition to a low carbon economy is the only way to secure sustainable economic growth and prosperity for all.

To accelerate this transition, We Mean Business acts as a common platform to amplify the business voice, catalyze bold climate action by all, and promote smart policy frameworks, through the coalition members BSRThe B TeamCDPCeresThe Climate GroupPrince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group and WBCSD.

Today The Climate Group CEO Mark Kenber also wrote an article for Climate Change: The New Economy, describing the necessity for accelerated climate action from the G7 ahead of COP21.

In the article Mark Kenber stresses that Paris is not the "end" but the beginning of the "unstoppable" low carbon economy: "The climate change agenda post Paris will live on, and important work will still need to be done until the deal set in Paris comes into force in 2020. What must be taken away from Paris is that the momentum to a low carbon future is now unstoppable  and that change makes environmental, business and moral sense. Moments like the G7, UNFCCC meetings and Climate Week can help push us there."

The Climate Group also launched a mass-tweet today, calling for the G7 to act on climate by supporting ambitious INDCs and a global clean revolution ahead of Paris. See the results here.

Read the blog Paris  - The great business opportunity of this century?

Read the We Mean Busines G7 letter


By Clare Saxon Ghauri

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