We Mean Business coalition and report launched at Climate Week NYC

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22 September 2014

NEW YORK: Today at Climate Week NYC a pioneering new coalition was launched, made up of businesses that are serious about cutting emissions, many of who revealed their low carbon success in a new report.

We Mean Business is a powerful coalition of world-leading business and climate organizations, which have joined forces  for the first time  to create a unified business voice in support of decisive action to tackle climate change and transition to a low carbon future.

Founding partners are BSR, the B Team, CDP, Ceres, The Climate Group, the Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group (CLG) and WBCSD: the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, which together represent thousands of top companies and investors.

The coalition calls on other businesses to follow their lead on cutting emissions through measures such as increased renewable energy, big improvements in energy efficiency and adopting a carbon price, in order to build a vibrant low carbon economy and avoid runaway climate change, which the involved companies agree is a massive threat to businesses and the economy.

To drive bold policy at the national and international level, in the run-up to Paris 2015, the companies will be releasing a series of public statements, targets and initiatives to accelerate the wider business adoption of low carbon energy.

In New York today, We Mean Business launched a new report, The Climate Has Changed, which reviews actions and investments of companies which reported their emissions to CDP over the past three years.

The data from the report provides compelling evidence that smart climate action make business sense. Analysis of data over the past two years shows almost 1,450 companies reported carbon savings of just over 420 million metric tons through investment of over US$140 billion in low carbon projects.

Another impressive figure from the report is the Internal Rate of Return for energy efficiency measures in South Africa, which hit 46%. In the US, process energy efficiency measures get an even higher IRR of 81%.

Climate Week NYC hosted the launch panel with Aron Cramer, CEO and President, BSRChristiana Figures, UNFCCC and Peter Bakker, President and CEO, The World Business Council for Sustainable Development.

In a rare public appearance, Tim Cook, CEO, Apple said Apple is the largest private solar owner in the US and affirmed the new Apple HQ will be the greenest building in the world, a signal to the rest of Silicon Valley to follow suit. Peter Agnefja?ll, CEO, IKEA took part in the discussion too, calling for bold government commitments to hasten low carbon growth.

Mark Kenber, CEO, The Climate Group, who opened Climate Week NYC, says We Mean Business is a clear sign attitudes in corporate boardrooms have shifted: "We Mean Business shows unprecedented collaboration between organizations. It spotlights those business leaders who are aware of the risky costs associated with climate change and are already leading the prosperous low carbon economy. For that reason they are ready to push for governments to act too, because we also need supportive national and international policy in place to achieve sustainable progress.

"The leaders we work with through We Mean Business understand the clean revolution is an economic opportunity to seize not tomorrow, or next year, but right now. These businesses are on the right side of history."

Read the report The Climate Has Changed now.

To find out more about We Mean Business, watch this video:

We Mean Business has also run a series of video interviews that will be posted on its website over the next few weeks. Watch a highlights reel below.

We Mean Business was launched during the Opening Day of Climate Week NYC. Since the first in 2009, Climate Week NYC has become a key international platform for governments, businesses and civil society to collaborate on bold climate action and low carbon leadership.

Host to more than 100 events from September 22-28, Climate Week NYC 2014 is the collaborative space for all events in support of the UN Climate Summit that will take place on September 23. This year The Climate Group and CDP are co-convenors of the Opening Day on September 22.

See what's happening near you at ClimateWeekNYC.org or follow the global conversation on #CWNYC.

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