Responsible Corporate Engagement: new Executive Brief released

22 September 2014

Damian Ryan, Senior Policy Manager, The Climate Group, talks about the new Executive Brief of the report Responsible Corporate Engagement released as leaders from both government and business gather in New York today for the UN Climate Summit. The Summit takes place during Climate Week NYC 2014 - an international platform that brings low carbon leaders from business, government and civil society together and is convened by The Climate Group. 

We all know that businesses have a critical role to play in addressing climate change. Apart from delivering the low carbon goods and services that are needed to reduce emissions, companies can also have a powerful influence on the development and implementation of climate policy. But what exactly does responsible corporate engagement on such policy look like?

This was a question that the UN Global Compact, UNEP, the World Resources Institute, CDP, WWF, Ceres, and The Climate Group, sought to answer last year in a major new report on the issue.

This year, as leaders from both government and business gather in New York today for the UN Climate Summit, the partner organisations have released an Executive Brief of the original report. This brief distils the key messages of the report into three pages, providing business leaders with the essential points that they need to ensure their companies provide credible, transparent and consistent input for effective climate policy.

As the brief explains, companies need to focus on three key actions – i) identify climate risk, opportunities and influences; ii) align internal and external messaging, positions and investments and iii) publicly report carbon and climate actions and outcomes.

three actions

Many companies already exemplify good corporate policy engagement, but as the need to accelerate the speed and scale of climate action increase, such behaviour must become mainstream.

As UN climate chief Christiana Figueres made clear last year in Poland, “Business as usual is history. Businesses face new risks from climate change and have new opportunities in addressing climate change, but our current business model is woefully inadequate to rise to our new realities. We need you to ask Governments for regulatory clarify, for a level playing field that doesn’t subsidise carbon and for policy that provides a stable platform to develop strategy”.

For business and policy decision makers seeking to understand how to navigate towards a prosperous low carbon economy, the new Executive Brief on responsible corporate engagement should be required reading.

By Damian Ryan

For a full list of Climate Week NYC events, please visit and follow the conversation on Twitter using #CWNYC.

You can also see our Climate Week NYC media resources for press releases, contacts and more info.

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