An Agenda for Private-Sector Leadership on Climate ChangeCammie Erickson
On Earth Day last year, BSR launched the signature report of our Business in a Climate-Constrained Worldprogram, in which we outlined our strategy to mobilize our business network, global reach, industry insights, and issue expertise in support of sustained business action on climate change.
Today, we are launching the second iteration of that report, “Creating an Action Agenda for Private-Sector Leadership on Climate Change,” which includes updates on the work we’ve done with companies such as Walmart and Expedia, government institutions such as the United Nations Framework on Climate Change, networks such as We Mean Business and the Climate and Clean Air Coalition, and foundation partners including the European Climate Foundation to advance ambitious mitigation and adaptation solutions to address climate change.
The report also outlines BSR’s three-part strategy for business leadership on climate change in the lead up to COP21 in Paris and beyond: translating climate science to deepen the private sector’s understanding of climate risks and opportunities, stabilizing climate risk by mitigating emissions and building capacity for adaptation, and increasing collaboration across industries and sectors to activate more networks to address climate change.
With the launch of this report, we also want to provide some highlights of what BSR has accomplished on climate over the past year:
- Translated risk and resilience for industry: In June and July 2014, we launched three reports outlining climate risk and strategies for resilience for agriculture, extractives/primary industries, and transport. These reports are part of a 13-part series, published jointly with the University of Cambridge and the European Climate Foundation, which translates the IPCC assessments for business leaders. (A French translation of these reports will be published during Climate Week Paris in May.)
- Expanded our climate-focused Collaborative Initiatives: BSR has six Collaborative Initiatives focused on climate, including two new ones launched in 2014: Our Climate Science Initiative helps companies understand critical new areas of climate research, places climate science in the business context, identifies opportunities for individual and collective action to respond to emerging threats and opportunities, and enhances companies’ ability to invest in resilience-building activities. Our Regional Adaptation Initiative explores opportunities for climate adaptation in key regions and provides a platform for companies to collaborate to build resilience.
- Facilitated the development of climate strategies for companies and other organizations: We have worked with a range of member companies, as well as partners in government, civil society, philanthropy, and the UN to design and execute climate strategies with a focus on mobilizing finance in support of climate-compatible development, setting ambitious greenhouse gas reductions, and deepening partnerships between government and the private sector in support of sector-based approaches to climate change.
- Served as a founding member of the We Mean Business coalition: We Mean Business brings together seven business-facing networks to amplify the business voice, catalyze bold climate action by all, and promote smart policy frameworks.
- Became a non-state partner of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition: In January, we joined the Climate and Clean Air Coalition, which brings together government, business, and civil society actors to tackle short-lived climate pollutants such as methane and black carbon. As part of this work, we will be developing a series of reports on these pollutants in key industries.
This is a pivotal year for addressing climate change: In Paris this December, 196 governments are expected to sign a new international climate agreement that will substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions and set a course for long-term decarbonization. This will send strong signals to the market that the time to act on climate has arrived—providing business an opportunity to capitalize on the existing momentum and catalyze further ambition.
At BSR, we are excited to support our member companies, as well as business, government, and civil society leaders, to actively engage in building a low-carbon future. We invite you to join us—by attending our climate-focused events, joining our Collaborative Initiatives, engaging with our partner networks, or simply reaching out to see how we can partner to turn one of the world’s greatest challenges into one of the world’s greatest economic opportunities.