As world leaders meet in Paris, Climate Barometer shows business and government leaders are confident a deal will be struck

Reading time: 5 minutes
29 November 2015

LONDON: As the global COP21 climate talks begin in Paris, leaders from The Climate Group’s high-level network express strong belief in a successful outcome. Businesses and sub-national governments alike convey an average 65% confidence in success at COP21, despite the talks merely acting as a “stepping stone” to low carbon growth.

These findings come from the latest results of our Climate Barometer, which tracks the network’s perceived ability to make long-term low carbon decisions.

On average, those surveyed relayed an overall 54.4% level of confidence in the feasibility of a low carbon economy, which remains roughly level with last month’s result of 54.5%.

Broken down by sector, governments are 58.2% confident in the low carbon economy, a figure which slips slightly from last month’s 59%. Confidence from ‘other’ organizations, which include financial and philanthropic institutions, also drops from 57.2 to 46.5%. However, business confidence sees a significant rise from 50% to 55.2%.


For the duration of COP21 we are also asking these influential leaders to share their confidence in a successful outcome. As world leaders converge in Paris for the first sessions, we can reveal that average confidence levels are off to a strong start at 62.3%.

Interestingly, both businesses and governments are equally 65% confident in a successful outcome from Paris, while 'other' organizations display a lower 51.8% confidence.

Despite being ‘somewhat confident’ in a successful outcome from the talks, one anonymous business leader emphasized the critical actions post-COP21. “Paris remains a stepping stone. The road from Paris will be more important than the ‘Road to Paris’”, they wrote.

A slightly less confident business executive urged greater collaboration as the key to success for both COP21 and wider low carbon growth, especially when considering commitments from economies at different stages of development. “I believe that industry and governments across the world have to work in tandem. Any achievable targets will require commitments from all stake holders. As growth is of prime importance for all governments it is imperative that they will sacrifice carbon to growth.

"The divide between the developed versus developing [countries] has not been bridged by leaders across the continents. Therefore I believe let us agree as a first step to the commitments made already, and then keep a window open to revisit the agreements in the next three years with scope for upward revision in controlling the emissions.”


Commenting on the new results, Mark Kenber, CEO, The Climate Group, says: “The Climate Barometer survey was sent as the world was analyzing the collective emissions reductions evident in the national climate plans, or INDCs. Now while these are ambitious plans, they do not bring us under a 2 degree temperature rise, which may explain the slight dip in overall confidence. And while faith in success in Paris seems solid, we’ll have to wait and see how this changes over the next fortnight.

“Yet however robust a global deal is, the policies, technology and financing conditions necessary for leaders – such as those represented by our influential network through the Climate Barometer – to make long-term low carbon decisions, are evidently in place. Now to get negotiators to pay attention to the impressive leadership of these businesses and sub-national governments, which is exactly what we’ll be doing as we showcase the work of our RE100 campaign and States & Regions Alliance at COP21.”

The Climate Group will be releasing two further sets of results from our high-level leadership network over the next two weeks.

See the Climate Barometer here

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