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Business To Be Key Driver Of Global Climate Action, Reports CDP

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A new report has concluded that business will be in a position by 2030 to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 3.7 billion metric tonnes, and be a key driver of global climate action.

The new report, The Business End of Climate Change, was launched this week at the Business & Climate Summit in London, and was authored by CDP, formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project, for the We Mean Business coalition. The authors of the report concluded that business could cut its global greenhouse gas emissions by 3.7 billion metric tonnes of CO2-equivalent per year by 2030 — that’s approximately 60% of total emission cuts pledged in Paris by country’s NDCs.

Such a contribution to global efforts to curb carbon emissions make it clear why CDP believes “Business will be a key driver of global climate action.”

“This report makes it clear that business will have an enormous role to play in enabling the global economy to achieve – and exceed – its climate goals,” said Paul Simpson, Chief Executive Officer, CDP. “With this potential comes great opportunity to build resilience, innovate and safeguard future profitability. The only way is up for business action on climate change. But we must not head into this future blind: Disclosure of climate information will be essential to keep track of corporate progress, spur greater action and help business achieve its ambition.”

Current Business Determined Contributions (BDC) to climate action is 3.7 billion metric tonnes of CO2-equivalent per year, but according to CDP, the potential BDC — the amount that, by 2030, business will be able to cut its greenhouse gas emissions — could go as high as 10 billion metric tonnes of CO2-e per year by 2030, given the right policy environment. Additionally, the number of companies signing up to these commitments could rise from 300 today, to over 3,500 by 2030.

The report’s analysis was done looking at the commitments and plans of five global business initiatives — RE100, EP100, Science Based Targets, Zero De-forestation, and LCTPi.

We’ve covered the work of RE100 and EP100, with the former recently announcing that six new companies have joined to commit to 100% renewable power. “The demand push from corporates is as important as supportive government policy – bold action by businesses, cities and governments sends a strong market signal and means we can hold global warming below two degrees far more quickly,” said Mark Kenber, CEO of The Climate Group in early June.

Already the number of big-name companies committing to global climate action is growing. Names like BMW Group, Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Google, Kellogg Company, and IKEA Group, have all made big strides towards 100% renewable power and other climate action, leading the way for the global business community to jump on the bandwagon.

“In the run up to COP21 in Paris an extraordinary alliance of business and investors committed to ambitious actions via the dedicated NAZCA portal,” said Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. “I believe that you can truly say — “We’re Accelerating Climate Action.” But a universal climate agreement of nations also needs universal support from the private sector beyond Europe and North America. I would urge committed business to reach out to peers in Africa, Asia and Latin America in order to further seed, catalyze and build action everywhere and in support of COP22 in Marrakech.”

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