The group of 43 chief executives, representing firms which generated a combined $1.2 trillion in 2014, said they would set internal emission reduction targets and called on negotiators to make sure a new international climate deal limits the global rise in temperatures to below 2 degrees Celsius.
The letter is designed to put pressure on government officials ahead of a spring meeting of a World Bank group in Washington from April 17-19.
Companies signing the letter include cement maker Lafarge , telecom group Erikson, consumer goods company Unilever, and car maker Volvo.
“This initiative being launched today is a significant commitment in efforts to combat climate change. As businesses, we have the obligation to contribute to sustainable development,” Ignacio Galan, CEO of utility Iberdrola said in a statement.
Most governments missed an informal March 31 deadline to submit their climate pledges for the new deal.
Just Switzerland, Norway, Mexico, Russia, Gabon and the European Union had posted submissions U.N.’s submission website as of April 16.
The firms also join more than 340 institutional investors that last September called on governments to set carbon pricing policies that encourage the private sector to invest in cleaner technologies.
The CEO letter is published here: CEO Letter
Open Letter from Global CEOs to World Leaders Urging Concrete Climate Action
CEO-led initiative to create a fertile ground for a responsible and global climate deal in Paris 2015
Climate change is one of the biggest global challenges that will shape the way we do business now and in the coming decades. The United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties 21 (COP21), to be held in Paris in December 2015, aims to deliver a new climate change agreement that will put the world on track to a low-carbon, sustainable future while keeping the rise in global temperature to under 2 degrees Celsius.
This coalition, comprising 43 CEOs from companies with operations in over 150 countries and territories, and facilitated by the World Economic Forum, believes the private sector has a responsibility to actively engage in global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and to help lead the global transition to a low-carbon, climate-resilient economy. This coalition further seeks to catalyze and aggregate action and initiatives from companies from all industry sectors — towards delivering concrete climate solutions and innovations in their practices, operations and policies.
The undersigned, as CEO climate leaders, urge the world’s leaders to reach an ambitious climate deal at COP21, aligned with the UN Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We extend an open offer to national governments to meet and co-design tangible actions as well as ambitious, effective targets that are appropriate for their different jurisdictions.
- The companies we represent are taking voluntary actions to reduce environmental and carbon footprints, setting targets to reduce our own GHG gas emissions and/or energy consumption while also collaborating in supply chains and at sectoral levels. Technological innovations will be an important element.
- We agree on the need for inspirational and meaningful global action and aligned messaging. We will act as ambassadors for climate action, focusing on solutions and economic opportunities and using “the science debate is over: climate change is real and addressable” * as one of the common themes to raise public awareness.
- We will actively manage climate risks and incorporate them in decision making — not least to realize growth opportunities. We will take steps to implement effective strategies to strengthen not only our companies’ but also societal resilience.
Our vision supporting a climate deal
- We believe that effective climate policies have to include explicit or implicit prices on carbon achieved via market mechanisms or coherent legislative measures according to national preferences, which will trigger low-carbon investment and transform current emission patterns at a significant scale. We support global mitigation approaches that promote cost effective incentives for cutting emissions, while respecting level playing fields and preventing carbon leakage.
- We urge a strategic action agenda — supported by clear and consistent policies and robust monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) — that will complement business efforts to stimulate innovation as well as collaborative actions across value chains, and to develop and scale up alternative and renewable energy sources, promote energy efficiency, end deforestation and accelerate other low-carbon options and technologies such as ICT.
- We welcome transparency and disclosure regarding financial investments and policies in relation to all energy-related activities — including fossil-based and alternative. We support assessments ofresilience to climate risks and call for new financial instruments to stimulate alternative energy and efficiency projects as well as green bonds. This will enable climate action to be integrated with financial reporting and instruments.
- We encourage governments to set science-based global and national targets for the reduction of GHG emissions and the development of alternative energy sources.
Hastening the shift to a low-carbon economy in an economically sustainable manner will generate growth and jobs in both the developing and developed world. Delaying action is not an option — it will be costly and will damage growth prospects in the years to come. The CEO climate leaders call on government leaders and policy makers to align on global measures, to be consistent in policy-making and to develop helpful innovation frameworks.
A comprehensive, inclusive and ambitious climate deal in Paris on mitigation, adaptation and finance — in combination with a strong set of clear policy signals from the world’s leaders — is key to accelerating this transition. This opportunity should not be missed.
* We will build on the data contained in The Consensus Project of the Scientific Community on Climate Change, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) of the UN and the New Climate Economy Report (“Better Growth — Better Climate”) of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate.
We are CEOs from 43 companies and 20 economic sectors.
With operations in over 150 countries and territories, together we generated over $1.2 trillion in revenue in 2014.
Olof Persson, President and CEO, AB Volvo
Pierre Nanterme, Chairman and CEO, Accenture *
José Manuel Entrecanales Domecq, Chairman and CEO, Acciona * ^
Ton Büchner, CEO, AkzoNobel
Michael Diekmann, Chairman of the Board of Management (CEO), Allianz SE
Gregory Hodkinson, Chairman, Arup Group
Gavin Patterson, CEO, BT Group * ^
Niels B. Christiansen, President and CEO, Danfoss
Frank Appel, CEO, Deutsche Post DHL Group *
Henrik Poulsen, CEO, DONG Energy
Andrew N. Liveris, President, Chairman and CEO, Dow Chemical
Francesco Starace, CEO and General Manager, Enel SpA
Hans E. Vestberg, President and CEO, Ericsson
Gérard Mestrallet, Chairman and CEO, GDF SUEZ *
Bernardo Gradin, CEO, GranBio Investimentos
Ajit Gulabchand, Chairman and Managing Director, Hindustan Construction Company
Stuart Gulliver, Group CEO, HSBC Holdings
Ignacio S. Galán, Chairman and CEO, Iberdrola
Peter Agnefjäll, President and CEO, IKEA Group *
Ralph Hamers, CEO, ING Group
Sandra Wu Wen-Hsiu, Chairperson and CEO, Kokusai Kogyo Co. Ltd
Bruno Lafont, Chairman and CEO, Lafarge *
Marc Bolland, CEO, Marks and Spencer
Nikolaus von Bomhard, Chairman of the Board of Management, Munich Re
Torben Möger Pedersen, CEO, PensionDanmark
Eric Rondolat, CEO, Philips Lighting
Feike Sijbesma, CEO and Chairman of the Managing Board, Royal DSM * ^
Frans van Houten, President and CEO, Royal Philips * ^
Jean-Pascal Tricoire, Chairman and CEO, Schneider Electric *
Franky Oesman Widjaja, Chairman and CEO, Sinar Mas Agribusiness and Food
Jean-Pierre Clamadieu, CEO, Solvay *
Christian Rynning-Tønnesen, President and CEO, Statkraft *
Jean-Louis Chaussade, CEO, Suez Environnement *
Takeshi Niinami, President and CEO, Suntory Holdings
Tulsi Tanti, Chairman, Suzlon Energy
Michel M. Liès, Group CEO, Swiss Re
Masashi Muromachi, Chairman of the Board, Toshiba Corporation *
Paul Polman, CEO, Unilever * ^
Antoine Frérot, Chairman and CEO, Veolia *
Anders Runevad, Group President and CEO, Vestas Wind Systems
Anthony Pratt, Executive Chairman, Visy Industries
David W. Kenny, Chairman and CEO, The Weather Company
Kuok Khoon Hong, Chairman and CEO, Wilmar International
All signatories are members of the World Economic Forum.
*Member of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development
^Member of the Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change