Paris Climate Week: Call for businesses to step up climate action

Paris Climate Week (18-24 May) is hosted by the Climate Group and aims to bring together policymakers and companies to "show low carbon makes good business sense – and a strong global deal means a smart economy." 

The week will include the Business & Climate Summit (20-21 May) and Climate Finance Day (22 May)

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Article
21 May 2015

Companies fail to lead by example at Business & Climate Summit, says Oxfam

Author: Oxfam

In response to the disappointing outcome of the Business and Climate Summit, Céline Charveriat, Oxfam International’s Director of Advocacy and Campaigns said:   “The Business and Climate Summit was an opportunity for companies to lead by example, and though several did show willing, it was not nearly enough to champion the urgent action needed to help combat climate change.  “Companies not only need to put pressure on governments to reach an agreement at the COP21 in Paris that will deliver for the millions affected by climate change, they also need to address their own climate footprints in order for their advocacy to be credible..."The food and beverage sector in particular has much to lose from climate change, with farmers bearing the brunt of those losses and the fight against poverty hanging in the balance. Of the Big 10 food and beverage companies included in Oxfam’s Behind the Brands campaign, a few have made significant commitments to reduce their supply chain emissions, some are taking steps to address smallholder resilience, but only a handful are advocating for a strong deal at COP21. Now is the time for the sector to stand together and collectively do far more...

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Article
19 May 2015

Climate action barometer launched: experts say outlook is ‘changeable’

Author: Climate Group

The Climate Group is today launching a ‘climate barometer’ to measure confidence levels in delivering a strong outcome at COP21 and in the low carbon economy.  Launched at Climate Week Paris...the barometer shows that leaders of businesses, sub-national governments and international institutions currently give a confidence rating of 33% - or ‘changeable’, according to the barometer..The Climate Group says it hopes the barometer will hold leaders to account, encourage them to deliver a deal in Paris, and help grow the low carbon economy which will boost global economic growth and job creation.

The role of non-state actors such as businesses and sub-national governments is going to be critical in the 2016-2020 period in ensuring temperature rises do not go above 2 degrees...Members of The Climate Group States & Regions Alliance, for instance, are phasing out coal, investing in clean tech infrastructure, and linking emissions trading systems. Some of the world’s biggest brands are going 100% renewable as part of the RE100 initiative.

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Article
19 May 2015

Commentary: "Global businesses must lead the way on climate action"

Author: Laurent Fabius (Minister of Foreign Affairs, France) & Christiana Figueres (executive secretary of UN Framework Convention on Climate Change)

Green investments increasingly offer opportunites for growth and employment and businesses are well-placed to take the lead at this week’s Business and Climate summit in Paris...[M]any businesses now include climate action in their long-term strategy and their daily activities. General Motors, Google, Amazon, Apple have signed major agreements on renewable energy use. A few weeks ago, 43 business leaders from companies in over 150 countries, declared their responsibility to support sustainable development...Ikea, Toshiba Corporation, AkzoNobel, Enel, Hindustan Construction Company, ING Group, Marks & Spencer, Suez Environnement and other large and medium-sized enterprises have undertaken to reduce their environmental impact by setting goals to lower their emissions and their energy consumption...

As we head towards COP21, we expect business leaders from around the world to call for ambitious policies and to join this collective effort themselves by taking concrete steps, for example by setting themselves a target of 100% renewable energy use, or progressive emission reduction targets.

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Article
19 May 2015

Commentary: Will businesses make broad commitments at Business & Climate Summit in Paris this week?

Author: Irit Tamir, Oxfam America

"Will Businesses ‘Walk the Walk’ and “Talk the Walk” on the Road to Paris?"

It is more urgent than ever for business to make it clear to governments that it is in the commercial interests of many of them, as well as the in the interests of those living in poverty and the planet itself, to make ambitious commitments...Every day there is news of how climate change is wreaking havoc on our food like tea, coffee, cocoa, dairy, coconuts, and bananas, to name a few...The irony is that the way we grow our food also contributes to climate change. Two companies – General Mills and Kellogg – took up our challenge last year to reduce their agricultural emissions across their supply chains. We would like to see more companies make similar commitments...The second step must be supporting the farmers...that not only take on the climate risks of the food sector in a disproportionate way, but reap the least amount from the prices of the commodities they grow....Finally, once they have credibly “walked the walk”, food and beverage companies need to “talk the walk” – by sounding the alarm for the future of food security and for their own survival...

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Article
18 May 2015

Unilever boss urges world leaders to reduce carbon output

Author: Roger Harrabin, BBC

Chief executive Paul Polman said governments must set clear CO2 targets to force low-carbon innovation.  Speaking ahead of a business climate summit in Paris this week, he urged fellow chief executives to help create a “political licence” for politicians to promote clean energy..."The reality is, if we don’t tackle climate change we won’t achieve economic growth.”...[Also refers to Koch Brothers, Shelll, Virgin]

Article
14 May 2015

Industry lobbyists 'trying to undermine' Paris Climate Summit

Author: Jessica Shankleman, Business Green

Leaked documents reveal how Cefic sought to water down green proposals for the Paris Business & Climate Summit, while raising concerns about industrial competitiveness...Cefic's intervention sparked anger among other stakeholders of the summit. One industry insider with knowledge of the proceedings accused Cefic of seeking to undermine the meeting's level of ambition...A spokesman for the summit maintained the final messages for speakers were only designed as a background briefing and were not an attempt to dictate or control the output of the event...

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Article
13 May 2015

Call for civil society mobilisation for a just transition away from fossil fuels (May-June)

Author: Climate Action Network

"Call for action: May and June Global climate mobilisation", 21 Apr 2015

This May and June, youth, faith leaders, and members of labour, development and justice organisations from across the world will call for the just transformation away from fossil fuels to be scaled up so that it can address our biggest problems - climate change, social inequality, unemployment and poverty. We will stand side by side to ensure governments know that the people are demanding and driving action - we are building citizen-owned, locally based solutions, and strengthening a movement that will keep growing until we achieve a complete, just transition from fossil fuels to 100% renewable energy in citizens hands. [Note: The Climate Action Network (CAN) is a worldwide network of over 900 NGOs in over 100 countries working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels, according to its website.]

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