A net-zero economy requires radical collaborationThe B Team
“In over 4,500 locations across 150 countries, 7.6 million people sent a clear message to the world’s leaders: it’s past time to step up ambition on climate. Collaboration amongst all these stakeholders is crucial to driving the change that is required.”
– Mary Robinson and David Crane, The B Team Climate Working Group Co-Chairs
It’s clear that the climate crisis can no longer be tackled in silos. To accelerate action toward a future that protects our planet and all people, all of us—including business—must work together.
The Net-Zero Economy Report – 2020 highlights the need for radical collaboration in corporate climate action and demonstrates how some companies have already stepped up to the challenge. To keep the promise of the Paris Agreement, our entire economy needs to transform. Each economic lever must engage in reaching net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and aligning with the 1.5°C trajectory outlined by the IPCC.
This calls for companies to take a multi-stakeholder approach—opening dialogue both internally, with employees and unions, and externally, with historically hard-to-reach stakeholders like civil society. Since the IPCC released its findings in 2018, increasing engagement with employees, investors, suppliers, policymakers and many other stakeholders have driven key shifts in corporate climate action.
For many companies, this starts in their value chains. This includes Allianz’s work through the Net-Zero Asset Owners Alliance, Danone’s leadership within One Planet Business for Biodiversity, Salesforce’s spearheading of the Step Up Coalition and GSMA’s work with their member companies on setting science-based targets. These are just some of many examples in the Report that detail how companies are coming together around solutions or setting a common goal that sends a signal to the wider market.
Net-zero by 2050 targets have seen a meteoric rise in the two years since we published our 2018 progress report. In 2015 there were only 10 B Team companies willing to take on this level of ambition. Now, of the over 730 companies are committed to the Science-Based Targets initiative, 88 have set targets aligned with net-zero by 2050 or a 1.5°C pathway.
While we have seen some progress in commitment from companies, further collaboration and action is needed to meet the challenge at hand. The transition to net-zero is time-dependent—it must be fast, but it must also be fair. Companies, including the world’s largest renewable energy producers, are leading the way forward by taking the Business Pledge for Just Transition and Decent Green Jobs. More must now join them.
As we work toward COP26 this year, the Net-Zero Economy Report – 2020 makes it clear that radical collaboration is necessary to meet these climate targets and reduce environmental and economic losses. Only by working together will we unlock the opportunities these challenges hold.