Amy Davidsen: Google’s climate leadership is sending a message to all Americans

Author:
Ilario D'Amato
9 December 2015

Amy Davidsen, US Executive Director, The Climate Group

PARIS: With just a few days left of COP21, Amy Davidsen, US Executive Director, The Climate Group, gives her perspective on the increased US business and sub-national government engagement she has witnessed over the past two weeks – and why it is more important at the global climate talks than ever before.

Last week it was announced that several new companies had joined RE100, a campaign from The Climate Group in partnership with CDP which supports the world’s most influential companies in their journeys to going 100% renewables. New joiners include ICT sector leaders Adobe, Microsoft and Google, the latter of which announced an interim target to triple its purchase of renewable energy by 2025.

Pointing out the importance of the search giant’s commitments to RE100, Amy Davidsen says: “Google has been leading and making a tremendous investment in clean energy already. Just having the ICT sector actively engaged in this transition is extremely important in sending a message to all Americans that this is the innovation cycle we have been waiting for.”

The US Director welcomes the amplified voices from the business community being heard at COP21 and outlines what it is business leaders need most from negotiators to be able to make long-term, low carbon investments and create a strong, sustainable economy. “We are really seeing that businesses are looking for certainty from policy agreement, which we hope we will get out of COP21.

"It should signal exactly what they need in terms of moving toward a cleaner economy and transitioning the investment dollars into the clean energy economy.”

But it is not just US businesses that are making waves with their climate actions. Sub-national governments are also leading the way with ambitious, innovative moves of their own. “US states are taking tremendous leadership here at COP; California represented by Governor BrownWashington, Vermont, New York State, are all showing that by creating innovative policy they are attracting investment and creating jobs in their home state.”

Earlier this week, the Compact of States and Regions, a reporting mechanism for leading state and regional governments from around the world to submit their climate targets, announced plans to reduce their emissions by 12.4 GtC02e by 2030 – greater than China’s current annual output.

Amy Davidsen emphasizes that it is important these 'non-state actor' voices are heard by negotiators because “they are the ones who will take us forward in the next five years”, which is the crucial period before a global climate pact agreed this week in COP will come into action.

  • You can watch more of our exclusive video interviews with climate leaders and experts by following the hashtag #ClimateTV on social media.
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