His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales and Leading Businesses Hail UN Climate Summit As Key Moment to Tackle Climate ChangeThe Prince of Wales's Corporate Leaders Group
The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group (CLG), whose members include household names like Coca Cola Enterprises, EDF, Jaguar Land Rover, Philips, and Tesco, is urging governments to use the UN summit on climate change in New York on 23 September to raise ambition in international negotiations on climate change and commit to concrete action to drive down carbon emissions.
The patron of the Corporate Leaders Group, HRH The Prince of Wales, will deliver a video message at the summit, in which he will say: “The battle against climate change is surely the most defining and pivotal challenge of our times. We cannot meet the climate change challenge unless business and government actively work together. Through the work of my Corporate Leaders Group, I am encouraged that more and more businesses are supporting a transformative goal of reaching net zero greenhouse gas emissions well before the end of the century. Taking action on climate change is neither inherently bad for business nor against economic interests. It is, in fact, the only rational choice.”
Philippe Joubert, Chair of The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group said: “There is a powerful and growing consensus among leading businesses on the need for action. More companies and investors are committed to bold leadership on climate than ever because they know it makes business sense. Now is the time to accelerate both ambition and action, ahead of the UNFCCC meeting in Paris in 2015, at which leaders will need to agree a new global deal.”
In the week of the summit, which will be attended by 125 world leaders, The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group will partner with ‘Track 0’, an initiative driving action for zero emissions, and their member company Skanska to host an event at the Empire State Building on what net zero could mean for cities. In addition to Skanska, who were the first to renovate their offices in the Empire State Building to the high LEED-CI Platinum standard, speakers will include Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary UNFCCC; Rachel Kyte, World Bank, Special Envoy Climate Change; Tony de Brum, Foreign Minister, The Marshall Islands; and Ed Mazria, Founder and CEO, Architecture 2030.
Elizabeth Heider, CSO of Skanska US said: “Climate change is a critical issue that is increasingly influencing major business decisions. Investment in low-carbon energy efficient options makes business sense and is the best strategy for a prosperous future economy. By setting clear and binding energy efficiency targets, in the context of a coherent and ambitious overall climate change and energy security strategy, governments would send the right signal to businesses wanting to invest.”
The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group has been an active partner in the World Bank statement on Carbon Pricing, which World Bank President Jim Kim will launch at the summit, alongside the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon. The statement builds on the messages outlined in the Corporate Leaders Group’s Carbon Price Communiqué, and will be endorsed by over 50 governments and hundreds of companies.
Ben van Beurden, CEO of Shell, said: “A well-implemented carbon pricing system would help to promote low-carbon technologies including CCS, encourage greater energy efficiency, and accelerate the shift to cleaner fossil fuels like natural gas. It has the added benefits of being relatively cheap to implement, and of spreading the burden fairly.”
The Group’s members are stepping up their calls for commitments to action across different sectors and agree that the creation of a low carbon economy and society must reflect a variety of mitigation and adaptation measures.
Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever said: “The recently released New Climate Economy report underlines that we do not have to choose between climate action and economic growth. The report shows that this is a false dilemma. They can be achieved simultaneously. The next 15 years are critical. Around US$90 trillion will be invested in cities, land use and energy infrastructure globally between now and 2030. The scale of this investment means there is a huge opportunity to create better growth and tackle climate change.”
The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group seeks to drive strategic, long-term change in the economy which is often frustrated by short-term decision-making, and stresses that only by working directly with decision makers and more business groups will progress be made. That is why the Corporate Leaders Group is a member of the We Mean Business (WMB) coalition, bringing together the world’s major business organisations working on climate change. WMB will launch its flagship report on the eve of the UN Summit. The report will illustrate low carbon business success stories and identify policy measures that would allow business to go even further in helping to meet the climate change challenge.