Mars: Time for business and governments to step up climate actionKevin Rabinovitch, Global Vice President Sustainability and Chief Climate Officer at Mars
Climate change is real, the science is clear, and it’s happening now. If the global community does not step up together with bold climate action, economies, businesses, families and communities will suffer.
The status quo is no longer acceptable. Countries and companies must accelerate the pace and scale of our ambitions to advance the objectives of the Paris Agreement. Taking bold action now will also help deliver clear economic and business opportunities for those willing to embrace the net-zero carbon transition.
At Mars, we believe the world we want tomorrow starts with how we do business today. We are committed to cutting our emissions in line with what science says is necessary, and we call on all companies, governments and citizens to do the same.
All of us must bravely move forward industry by industry, company by company to blaze a new path of transformation. The fact is, there is a new climate for business. The winners will be those that set bold, science-based goals, invest in a low-carbon future and adapt to change.
The Paris Agreement should be the ground floor of our collective ambitions, not the ceiling. We need to stand firm in our commitment to the Agreement and move deliberately to drastically lower global greenhouse gas emissions.
Business has an important role to play and many are progressing with the right agendas. There are three actions necessary for business to take. We must:
- Let science be our guide. We need to adopt and act on science-based targets – not just in our direct operations but throughout our value chains.
- Advocate for policies at the national and subnational levels aligned with a net-zero pathway for emissions by 2050.
- Ensure our peers, suppliers and trade associations are advocating for a net-zero future.
For business to move at the pace and scale needed, smart, comprehensive energy and environmental policies at the local, national and international levels are vital. Today, pockets of political uncertainty on climate change are holding the business community back and tempering our ability to work together toward solutions. Just as business has three significant actions to take, there are three crucial elements business needs from government to have clarity and confidence in our actions. We need:
- A carbon pricing system aligned with climate science.
- Acceleration in deployment of clean energy, clean transportation and a land sector that maximises carbon removals; and
- Investment in infrastructure to make countries and communities more resilient against climate change.
Report after report warns that now is the time to act to prevent the worst impacts of climate change. The longer we wait the more difficult and expensive it will be to avoid the most damaging impacts.
At the 2019 United Nations Conference on Climate Change in Madrid (COP25), let’s join together to fast-track low-carbon economic growth. Despite the overwhelming scientific consensus that we must reach peak emissions by 2020, emissions continue to grow. We can’t let gridlock and passivity define the next year or the next decade. Those who see any option other than action aligned with what the science says is necessary are limited by vision, compassion or an understanding of what’s truly in their interest – as a human, a business or a sovereign nation.
Literally, there’s no time like the present. The actions we take or don’t take over the next decade will define how our generation of leaders is remembered. And action or inaction will decide the future of the generations that come after us. It’s time to act, advocate and allocate the resources necessary for a clean, green economy where people around the world will thrive.