The heads of major multinationals from Brazil, China, Europe, India and the United States are urging world leaders to "reach an ambitious climate deal" that they argue would "generate jobs and growth" across the world, the World Economic Forum (WEF) said on November 23.
In an open letter, CEOs from 78 companies, a cross-sectoral coalition facilitated by the WEF that includes banking, manufacturing, construction and energy, extended "an open offer" to governments to co-design climate solutions ahead of the upcoming climate conference, COP21, in Paris. The conference will see leaders of nearly 200 countries meet to finalize a global agreement on climate change.
The CEOs hope to capitalize on the momentum created by pledges from over 160 countries, notably from the United States and China, to bolster the case that governments have industry support to take decisive action to combat climate change.
As well as pledging support, the CEOs committed to reducing environmental and carbon footprints and collaborating with supply chains, managing climate risks and including them in decision-making, and to act as ambassadors for climate action.
They also advocated explicit or implicit carbon pricing, innovation in alternative and renewable energy sources, climate action through greater corporate disclosure of carbon risks, and projects such as green bonds.
The message was welcomed by the UN's top climate official, Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) which is hosting COP21.
She said climate action represented a "massive economic opportunity," adding: "This is the first intentionally directed industrial revolution and will be the source of good new jobs and strong growth for the coming decades, something developing countries are increasingly realizing and taking the lead on."
The business leaders collectively represent $2.13 trillion in revenue, equivalent to India's gross domestic product. Many of them lead companies from outside of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) group of developed nations and pledge support for developing countries to adapt to the effects of climate change.
(Xinhua News Agency November 23, 2015)