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G20 2021 Business sign-on letter FAQs


Below is a series of frequently asked questions and answers regarding the We Mean Business Coalition business sign-on letter calling on the G20 to raise climate leadership at this crucial time on the road to COP26. It covers questions about the letter content, how the letter will be used, how it will be launched and how companies can sign. If you have any further questions, please contact us.

Please see our website for information on the actions your company can take to reduce emissions across your operations and supply chains, and mainstream climate leadership.

1. How can my company sign the letter?

Please complete this form to add your company name to the signatory list. Individuals completing the form must have the proper authorization to sign on behalf of their company.

2. What is the context of the letter?

The G201 is hosted by the Italian Presidency in 2021. It takes place during a period of global instability due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the emerging climate crises which many countries are facing. The Italian Presidency has placed an ambitious sustainability agenda at the core of its Presidency, emphasizing that the international commitments to address climate change and environmental degradation can no longer be postponed.

As outlined in the Paris Agreement, all countries must revise their emissions reduction targets for 2030 in an effort to reach net-zero by 2050. The revised commitments are crucial to keep the 1.5°C objective of the Paris Agreement within reach. Several G20 countries have already announced their revised targets for 2030 (also known as a Nationally Determined Contributions – or NDCs – under the Paris Agreement), but more ambition is needed to close the gap in ambition to limit global warming to a maximum of 1.5°C.

The science has advanced since the Paris Agreement came into force in 2016 and the landmark UN IPCC report on Global Warming of 1.5°C2 outlined the importance of keeping to that target. CO2 emissions would need to reach net zero globally by mid-century to do that and therefore further emissions reductions from all countries, especially the major emitters, are needed. The IPCC’s Working Group 1 Report on the physical science of climate change, that will be launched at the beginning of August 2021, is expected to stress the urgency of action to address climate change.

3. What is the purpose of the letter?

This letter aims to mobilize a collective, unified business voice to show G20 leaders that business – including companies headquartered in G20 countries, multinationals and SMEs – want to see G20 countries demonstrate climate leadership in the lead up to COP26.

It highlights the opportunities to be harnessed through a carefully managed transition and the great benefits of climate action. The right policy decisions taken today can drive further investments and spur business decisions in favour of climate solutions across G20 countries. It stresses the importance of collaboration to build stronger, just, and more resilient, nature-positive economies: bringing prosperity and creating decent jobs while protecting health and the planet.

The collective voice of business will give policymakers the confidence needed to increase their climate ambition and unlock policy barriers for companies to accelerate their climate action.

4. Why does the letter focus on these policy measures? 

The letter from businesses calls on G20 governments to strengthen their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) in line with at least halving global emissions by 2030, and committing to achieve net-zero emissions no later than 2050.  The letter has been prepared in line with the latest scientific analysis and modelling, including pathways from the IPCC’s Special Report on 1.5°C and the IEA’s Net-Zero by 2050, and identifies a number of key policy measures that are crucial towards the achievement of these goals.

The policy measures called for in the letter are all currently the subject of active discussions taking place at the G20 this year. A strong business voice in support of these policies will give G20 countries the comfort to take important decisions to make them reality.

  • Strengthening NDCs in line with at least halving global emissions by 2030, and committing to achieve net-zero emissions no later than 2050. We urge you to publish long-term strategies, detailing pathways to 2030 and 2050 as soon as possible.

In order to keep the 1.5°C goal of the Paris Agreement within reach, the IPCC Special Report on 1.5°C 3 has stressed the importance of halving emissions globally by 20304. National commitments for 2030 and 2050, with detailed plans for their implementation, are considered crucial to bring us on a credible pathway aligned with these goals.

  • Committing to ending new coal power development and financing immediately, and developing plans to phase out coal-fired power generation by 2030 for advanced economies, and 2040 for other countries, while promoting uptake of renewable energy across sectors. This should include removing barriers to corporate purchasing of 100% renewable electricity to enable companies to go quicker in their clean energy transition and invest more than policy currently allows in many jurisdictions.

The decarbonization of the energy system will play a crucial role in keeping the 1.5°C goal of the Paris Agreement within reach. In its 2021 Report “Net Zero by 2050”5, the International Energy Agency (IEA) states that achieving the Net Zero by 2050 goal will require urgent changes to the energy system, and highlights urgent political decisions needed to move away from coal power generation, and in support of investment in renewables. In particular, the report states that “all unabated coal-fired power plants are phased out in advanced economies by 2030 and in emerging market and developing economies by 20406.”

  • Aligning public finance, COVID-19 recovery spending and fiscal policies with a 1.5°C trajectory, while ensuring adequate support for adaptation and resilience measures. Important measures include:
    • Delivering on existing public climate finance commitments such as the US$100 billion for developing countries. Adequate levels of international public climate finance can contribute to developing new markets for private finance by stimulating investments in support of climate-resilient green infrastructure and nature-based solutions.

The US$100 billion commitment is reflected in the Paris Agreement and is needed to support developing countries efforts to tackle climate change.

    • Ensuring appropriate pricing signals by removing fossil fuel subsidies ideally by 2025, and putting a meaningful price on carbon that reflects the full costs of climate change as part of a broader mix of policy instruments to support clean technology investments and innovation

Aligning public finance and fiscal systems with a 1.5°C trajectory will require policy decision that send the right signals to markets.  A G20 commitment to phasing-out fossil fuel subsidies by 2025, together with policy instruments that put a meaningful price on carbon, will help ensure that spending is re-directed towards the technologies crucial to the economic transition7.  A 2025 timeline would be consistent with the IEA’s pathway to net-zero emissions by 2050, under which fossil fuel subsidies are eliminated “in the next few years8.”

    • Making climate-related financial disclosure of risks, opportunities and impacts mandatory for corporations, to increase transparency and support better informed pricing and capital allocation to encourage investment flows towards more sustainable activities.

Financial markets need clear, comprehensive, high-quality information on the impacts of climate change. This includes the risks and opportunities presented by rising temperatures, climate-related policy, and emerging technologies in our changing world.

Thousands of companies around the world as well as many countries are supporting the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) to improve and increase reporting of climate-related financial information.

5. Why does this letter target G20 countries specifically?

Business needs clarity from the G20 leaders to accelerate climate action at the pace and scale necessary to halve global emissions by 2030, helping to create jobs, growth and a healthier, more resilient economy.

Representing approximately 90% of global GDP and almost 80% of global trade and GHG emissions, the G20 has a unique collective responsibility, and opportunity, to demonstrate global leadership to decisively address climate change while leaving no-one behind.

The G20 Leaders’ Summit will take place in Rome from 30-31 October, with Heads of State from the G20 members. With the Summit taking place on the eve of COP26, it is a crucial political moment for leading economies to signal their climate ambition and commitment to achieve the 1.5°C objective of the Paris Agreement. This will send a strong signal to the global community that will help catalyse further ambition for a successful COP26.

6. What are major economies doing to reduce their emissions?

The UK, EU, Japan, Canada, Argentina and the United States have raised the ambition of their NDCs in the past year. For example, in December 2020, the EU enhanced its NDC target from a 40% reduction to at least 55% reduction from 1990 levels by 2030. The UK submitted an NDC increasing its target from a 53% reduction to a 68% reduction on 1990 levels by 2030. Earlier this year, the USA has raised its NDC ambition to 50-52% reductions compared to 2005 levels by 2030. South Korea and Japan committed to reach net zero emissions by 2050, and China has committed to reach net zero emissions before 2060.

At the G20 Climate and Energy Ministerial Meeting that took place in Naples on 22-23 July, G20 Ministers that have not yet done so stated their intention to update or communicate ambitious NDCs and long-term net-zero strategies by COP26, which begins on 1 November 20219. At the time of publication, updated or new NDCs are therefore expected from China, India, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and South Korea in the coming months.

7. Are you accepting edits to the letter?

No. The letter was written in consultation with several organizations and engaged companies. If companies wish to expand on its message or customize it to a particular country or sector, we invite them to reinforce the letter and tailored messages in their own corporate communications. Interested companies can also take advantage of communications opportunities addressed in questions 17-19.

8. Do you need CEO names or just the name of each company?

We need only the company name.

9. What businesses are eligible to sign on?

Any company of any size in any geography is invited to sign, provided the company has a presence in at least one G20 country. We invite large corporations as well as SMEs to sign.

When you fill out the form, please indicate in which G20 country(ies) your company currently has a presence, activities or operations. Also please indicate whether your company is an SME.

10. Is this letter open to all companies or only those connected to We Mean Business Coalition?

The letter is open to all companies regardless of their connection to the We Mean Business Coalition or its member organizations.

11. Why are you asking for information on companies’ revenue and employment figures?

Through this letter we are aiming to demonstrate a strong voice of ambition from businesses all around the world. The information will be used for the purposes of collating data regarding the geographical spread, size and collective revenue of the collective group of companies who are backing the letter. Aggregate figures only will be used, individual company statistics or data will not be disclosed.

If you have any concerns or questions regarding this, please contact us.

12. What will my personal data be used for?

Personal data collected through this sign-on process will be used for the purposes of communicating with the representative regarding possible follow up media or communications action relating to this letter, and will be bound by data protection rules. Kindly ensure that you review our Data Protection Policy prior to checking the related box on the sign-on form.

13. Can we share this letter with peers and suppliers?

Yes, we encourage you to share this with your network far and wide. However, please refrain from sharing the letter/materials publicly, as the letter release will be embargoed ahead of its public release in September.

14. Who is the target audience for the letter?

The principal audience for this letter are political leaders from all G20 countries who will be engaged in preparations for the G20 Summit and COP26 talks in October and November.

The letter will also be used to signal a strong voice of ambition from business on the road to COP26. It will therefore also be of key interest to the rest of the international community, the UN institutions, and all business and other stakeholders active at the global, regional and national levels.

15. What is the deadline for signing on?

The initial deadline for signing the letter, which includes listing as part of the official press release has passed (22nd September, 2021). However, companies are still encouraged to sign the letter as there will be further updates to the signatory list beyond the scheduled launch on 30th September. If you have any questions on this, please contact us.

16. What is the planned launch date?

This letter was made public on 30th September, 2021.

The reason for this date is to provide a strong foundation of business support prior to the G20 Summit at the end of October.

17. Will there be media associated with the release of the letter?

Yes, there will be a press release and robust media and digital roll-out of the letter hosted by the We Mean Business Coalition and its partners. We will be promoting the letter and related content on social media upon release, and signatories will be invited to amplify the letter and their participation in their own corporate communications using assets we will distribute closer to the release. By signing on to the letter, you will be invited to consent to your organization’s name to appear publicly on and associated with this statement across multiple platforms.

18. Will there be any chances for my CEO or senior leadership to be profiled in the media?

Yes, we are planning a robust communications rollout and will be looking to feature leaders from 1.5°C aligned companies through various media. This communications activity will be supportive and influential both upon and after the release of the letter, and in the run-up to the G20 Summit on 30-31 October 2021.

When you fill out the sign-on form, please ensure to check the box to be contacted about communications opportunities. We are welcoming supportive quotes from business leaders; if your company would like to provide a quote please contact our Policy team.

19. Can companies engage in advocacy over the coming weeks?  What opportunities are there?

The We Mean Business Coalition has launched a G20 Business Toolkit which contains an overview of expectations for the G20 Summit, key milestones to the Summit, policy recommendations, messaging and social media assets that can be deployed at key moments to influence policy decisions.

The toolkit includes:

  • Policy context
  • Key messages to amplify
  • Social media content
  • Company opportunities

The We Mean Business Coalition will be organising a webinar in September where companies can learn more about advocacy opportunities.

20. How can I find out which other companies have signed on to this letter between now and the launch?

We are not publishing the signatory list on this page at this time in order to maximise media attention around the launch of the letter. If you are a company considering signing the letter and would like to see the list of companies that have already signed, then please contact [email protected] to receive this directly. Please note this list is embargoed and will only be made public at the official press launch at the end of September.

21. Who is hosting the letter?

The letter is hosted by the We Mean Business Coalition and is supported by several NGOs, business groups and associations which are listed on the sign-on page.

22. Where can I learn more about the plans for this letter?

The We Mean Business Coalition is planning to host a webinar for companies and organizations who wish to learn more about this letter, the strategy around its launch, as well as information on communications and media activities. Information about the date and registration process for this Webinar will be communicated shortly.

23. Can I share the G20 letter publicly (e.g., on social media) to invite more signatures prior to the release? 

The G20 letter and the list of company signatories is currently under strict embargo until further notice. We request that you refrain from sharing this content or links to the web pages publicly to help us ensure maximum impact around the letter’s press launch. We will provide details on the exact embargo date and time once confirmed.   

  1. G20 member countries are:  Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union.
  4. “In model pathways with no or limited overshoot of 1.5°C, global net anthropogenic CO2 emissions decline by about 45% from 2010 levels by 2030 (40–60% interquartile range), reaching net zero around 2050 (2045–2055 interquartile range).” From IPCC Special Report on 1.5, Chapter 2, p.95. Available at:
  5. See Figure on page 20.
  6. IEA (2021), p.165. Available at:
  8. IEA (2021), p.139. Available at:
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