At the World Economic Forum 2019, business demonstrates bold climate actionWe Mean Business coalition
The hundreds of businesses taking bold climate action have a clear message for global leaders at this year’s World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos – now is the time to raise the ambition of climate policy to help achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement.
This year the annual forum has an increased focus on the need to address climate change, in the wake of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s recent 1.5°C report and the Global Risks Report from WEF itself, which both underline the need for urgent action.
The Global Risks Report provides an annual pulse check on what the world’s businesses, governments, academics and NGOs are most worried about. Of the top ten global risks facing the world, in terms of likelihood, extreme weather events is of most concern, followed by ‘failure of climate-change mitigation and adaptation’. Also in the top ten were: ‘man-made environmental disasters’ at number six and ‘biodiversity loss and ecosystem collapse’ at eight.
“Of all risks, it is in relation to the environment that the world is most clearly sleepwalking into catastrophe,” the report said.
Events in the official WEF program also reflect the need to accelerate action on climate change and cover topics including realizing the energy transition, building sustainable markets and protecting the natural world.
As the heads and members of more than 100 governments meet and discuss these issues, they can take confidence from the progress already being made by more and more companies to tackle climate change.
Bold climate action at the World Economic Forum 2019
To date, over 845 companies have committed to bold climate action through the We Mean Business coalition’s Take Action campaign, representing $16.9 trillion in market cap – over 20% of global GDP.
This includes companies from heavy emitting sectors. Last year, India’s Mahindra Group and Dalmia Cement both committed to be net carbon positive by 2040. While leading power companies including Iberdrola and Ørsted are rapidly shifting from fossil fuels to renewable power production and cutting emissions in line with their science-based targets.
This is being met by a wave of companies harnessing the benefits of renewable energy. To date, 160 companies are now committed to switching to 100% renewable electricity with RE100, led by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP. Collectively, these companies are creating demand of over 184 TWh of renewable electricity annually – enough to power both Argentina and Portugal.
Many of these companies, including Google, Apple and Autodesk, have already achieved their 100% renewables goals.
This progress shows world leaders that business is ready to work with governments to accelerate climate solutions. By matching this level of ambition national governments can give a clear signal that they are committed to working with business to achieve a zero-carbon future.
Increasingly ambitious national climate commitments – coupled with clear and confident policy signals to business – will enable companies to help deliver the goals of the Paris Agreement at the pace required.
Combining the efforts of business and government creates an ambition loop, which accelerates impact towards shared climate goals.
The global challenges being highlighted at the forum in Davos, with climate change being front and center, can only be addressed through the combined action of business, government and civil society. Together they can harness innovation and accelerate action to create the zero-carbon economies of the future.