Leading companies call for bold policy ambition from G7 countriesWe Mean Business coalition
A group of leading multinational companies across a range of sectors called on the governments of G7 countries to step up their climate policy ambition, as they highlighted the urgent need for government and business to work together to deliver climate action at scale.
Ahead of the G7 Summit in Biarritz, companies including Salesforce, SAP, Iberdrola, Schneider Electric and DSM expressed their support for ambitious and clear policies that accelerate the transition to a net zero carbon economy, including strengthened national climate plans that chart a clear pathway toward a just transition to net-zero emissions by 2050.
These companies are taking climate action and are each committed to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 or sooner, aligning their corporate climate goals with limiting global temperature rise to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. This ambition is in response to the growing scientific and economic evidence of the increasing urgency of the climate crisis. They represent a growing movement on increased corporate climate ambition, including the more-than 50 companies with a combined market cap of more than $2.2 trillion that, in just the last three months, have also pledged to do their part to keep warming to less than 1.5 degrees as part of a call-to-action campaign ahead of the UN Climate Action Summit this September.
Jeff Turner, VP of Sustainability at DSM, a Dutch-based multinational global leader in health, nutrition and materials whose products reach about one-third of the world’s population every day, according to the company, highlighted the need for the G7 governments build on and further the climate action and ambition being demonstrated by the private sector to ensure increased progress.
“We recognize very clearly that any scenario that we might anticipate can only be delivered with the appropriate policies in place. And in particular, making sure that emissions are firmly embedded into our financial systems through putting a price on carbon,” Turner said. “Secondly, we really need a stable environment for innovations. Finally, we really need those downstream, demand-side interventions from governments to make sure that they’re pulling the best in class solutions.”
Patrick Flynn, VP of Sustainability at Salesforce, a U.S. cloud-based software company headquartered in San Francisco, echoed the need for business and governments to support each other to achieve the required level of climate action needed to limit global warming to 1.5°C.
“A 1.5°C future is going to require transformation at an unprecedented pace and scale. So we’re calling on countries to step up to the urgent challenge and develop clear and consistent government policies that drive full decarbonization of every part of the economy,” Flynn said.“Those policies must embed the cost of carbon into the financial system, drive innovation and deployment of new technologies, and create clear demand for zero-carbon products and services.”
Carlos Sallé, Senior Vice President of Energy Policies and Climate Change at global power utility Iberdrola, highlighted the need for governments to seize the opportunity to increase ambition in their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) in support of the Paris Agreement.
“The scientists are saying that we have an exponential problem with climate change … so we need exponential solutions for that. This is why we need all the actors involved with urgent actions and also ambitious actions,” Sallé said.
He added that bold commitments from policy makers through NDCs will give businesses the confidence to invest in the technologies and solutions that will help tackle climate change.
Gilles Vermot Desroches, Senior Vice-President Sustainability at Schneider Electric, a France-based energy management and automation multinational, echoed the need for climate action to radically increase in response to the report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which warns of the catastrophic consequences should global warming exceed 1.5°C.
“Today it’s a question of acceleration. We have to take into account that the situation is much more complex and we have from the IPCC, and many other actors, the fact that we have to change drastically,” he said.
Lila Karbassi, Chief of Programmes at the UN Global Compact, said it is critical that G7 governments can give business the clarity and confidence they need to invest in the zero-carbon future at the UN Climate Summit in September in New York.
“The UN Secretary-General [António Guterres] is asking all governments to come to the summit to announce their plans to a) reduce their emissions by 2030 and b) achieve net-zero by 2050,” she said.
On the eve of the G7 Leaders Summit, the We Mean Business coalition is calling on G7 governments, representing more than 60 percent of global net wealth and almost 50 percent of global GDP, to reaffirm their commitment to climate action and the Paris Agreement, and to show leadership this year:
- Set a clear pathway for a just transition to net-zero GHG emissions by 2050;
- Strengthen Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and 2030 targets in line with this trajectory;
- Give business regulatory certainty by backing these national plans and targets with ambitious sectoral goals and policies that chart a clear path to the full transformation of major economic systems needed to build a net-zero carbon economy.
In advance of the G7 Summit, We Mean Business sent a letter to all G7 countries, calling for these policy measures and more. Read the full letter here here.
Through We Mean Business coalition partners’ initiatives, more than 980 global companies with a combined market capitalization of US$19.3 trillion – equal to 25 percent of global GDP – have made over 1,550 commitments to bold climate action.
Businesses are acting on climate with increasing speed and urgency. Paired with clear ambitious government policies, we can achieve a prosperous future in which global warming is limited to 1.5 degrees. G7 countries must lead the way.