G20 path to net-zero by 2050
Citizens are waking up to the threat of climate change as never before.
Growing student strikes, protests and opinion polls show that public concern about climate change is reaching unprecedented levels. The message is clear. We must accelerate collective action against climate change because the science is unequivocal, the economic case is beyond doubt and the window of opportunity is closing fast.
The good news is that this transition can create a US$26 trillion growth opportunity and 65 million new jobs by 2030, and that reaching net-zero carbon emissions even for heavy industries is technically and financially possible by mid-century.
A growing number of leading businesses recognize the urgent need to limit global warming to 1.5°C and are already responding to this challenge. Through the We Mean Business coalition partner initiatives, over 900 companies representing $17.6 trillion in market capitalization have made over 1,400 commitments to bold climate action. These include setting science-based targets in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement, committing to net-zero emissions by 2050 at the latest, switching to 100% renewable electricity, doubling energy productivity, accelerating the transition to electric vehicles and committing to implement the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).
G20 leaders have the opportunity to build on this progress and help to create the net-zero carbon economies of the future where no one is left behind, communities thrive, and which are resilient to the unavoidable impacts of climate change. When policymakers and businesses work together, they enable each other to go further and faster, unlocking maximum potential for impact and innovation.
To accelerate climate action, we call on G20 leaders to:
- Reaffirm your strong commitment to the Paris Agreement and its swift and effective implementation at the national level.
- Demonstrate leadership by committing to develop an ambitious long-term strategy that pursues net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, consistent with the IPCC Special Report on the Impacts of Global Warming of 1.5°C.
- Commit to stepping up domestic policy ambition by 2020 and to updating Paris Agreement NDCs.
- Promote the implementation of the TCFD recommendations through regulation.
- Support a just transition via social dialogue with businesses, workers and communities, and by integrating measures outlined in the Solidarity and Just Transition Silesia Declaration into NDCs and national climate and energy plans.
This path will help deliver net-zero carbon economies – transforming the power, transport, built environment and land systems – while protecting vital ecosystems and communities. We stand ready to work with the G20 governments to implement these actions and contribute to the success of the 2019 Summit. The economies of tomorrow need the government leaders of today to demonstrate bold climate ambition and action.
Sincerely, The We Mean Business coalition
We Mean Business (WMB) is a coalition of nonprofit organizations working with the world’s most influential businesses to take action on climate change. Together we catalyze business leadership to drive policy ambition and accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy.
The transition to a zero carbon economy is inevitable. Now is the time for companies to start preparing for a zero carbon future.Jill Duggan, Director of The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group
This milestone [Paris] Agreement is an important step in ensuring we can maintain quality of life on our planet for future generations.Neil McArthur, CEO Arcadis
Now businesses are enabled to work together with governments and communities to shape the policies and take the actions necessary to transition to a low carbon future.Richard Lancaster, CEO of CLP
We are entering an era of system transformation. Business is already playing a leadership role through global collaboration and low carbon partnership initiatives to drive innovation and structural change.Peter Bakker, President of WBCSD
The global transition to a low-carbon economy is urgent, inevitable, and accelerating faster than we ever believed possible.Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever and Chairman of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development
We are already not only bending the curve of emissions but actually already in a global consensus about the inevitability of the major shift that will occur in this century.Christiana Figueres
Investors are interested in our total water stewardship as it is directly linked to our business strategy, long-term growth and company acceptance.Coca-Cola HBC
In anticipation of changing weather patterns and potential shortages of water, we have made water efficiency a key strategic ambition shaping our product range.Syngenta
Water risks pose social, environmental and ultimately financial risks. Therefore it is obligatory for all sites, affiliates and operations to include a water risk assessment within their overall risk assessment procedures.Roche Holding
As corporations make an effort to enhance energy productivity there will be innovation and development of new technologies that will change the way we live and work.Anirban Ghosh, CSO, Mahindra Group
We find that many of our suppliers can reduce their energy consumption by 5% or more with basic training and implementation of low-cost/no-cost improvement measures.Clay Nesler, Vice President for Global Energy & Sustainability at Johnson Controls
Reducing energy consumption will be the primary vehicle in achieving our goals. We are very pleased to be the first property company to sign up to EP100, ensuring we will increase our energy productivity for the benefit of our customers.Robert Noel, Chief Executive, Land Securities
For a company with our global footprint, increasing our energy productivity by two-thirds as we have done since 2002 means that we are spending over US$100 million less in energy bills each year than if our energy productivity had remained constant.Clay Nesler, Vice President for Global Energy & Sustainability at Johnson Controls
Going 100% renewable will deliver on our consumer promise to deliver brands that are responsibly produced in a world of finite resources.Marc Engel, Chief Supply Chain Officer, Unilever
Climate change is a huge risk to the long-term supply of safe, high quality ingredients for Nestlé’s products as crop yields fall and production areas shift. We are determined to play our part in taking climate action by purchasing renewable electricity.Pascal Gréverath, Head of Environmental Sustainability, Nestlé
Renewable energy plays a key role in achieving our ongoing commitment to carbon neutrality, as we aim to use 100% renewable energy to meet our global electricity needs by 2020.Anthony Cammarata, Managing Director, Goldman Sachs
Electricity costs are one of the largest components of our operating expenses at our data centers, and having a long-term stable cost of renewable power provides protection against price swings in energy.Urs Hölzle, Senior Vice President, Technical Infrastructure, Google
By investing in renewables we can not only reduce our emissions but also future proof the business.Laurel Peacock, Senior Manager of Sustainability, NRG
We wouldn’t be doing this if it didn’t make business and economic sense… It is the way the market is trending and what our customers are demanding.Laurel Peacock, Senior Manager of Sustainability, NRG
Our target puts us in a good position vis-à-vis government regulation. We are fully compliant with the UK government’s existing targets, and would be well placed were they to introduce more stringent regulation for companies.Tom Byrne, Energy Manager at Land Securities
We want to know how exposed a particular business is to the changing context on climate and what it is practically doing to make the changes required; including its targets, timeframes and the extent of its ambition.Andy Howard, Head of Sustainable Research at Schroders
By doubling the efficiency of our US fleet [over five years], Walmart avoided the emission of nearly 650,000 metric tons of CO², while also saving nearly US$1 billion in the past fiscal year.Rob Walton, Walmart
Ambitious greenhouse gas reduction goals help our teams rally around low-carbon innovation. Of course knowing that our goals are backed by the current climate research increases buy-in and commitment at all levels of the company.Alexandra Palt, Chief Sustainability Officer, L’Oreal
We are working towards building a clean energy future. Expanding the share of renewables is key to addressing the chronic energy crisis our country is facing today.Ramadas Kamath, Executive Vice President and Head – Infrastructure and Sustainability, Infosys
I believe that companies are, above all, agents of transformation. We all work at an intersection of economic, political, social and environmental dimensions and have either positive or negative impacts on all of them.Guilherme Leal, B Team Leader and one of the founders of Natura Cosméticos
I spend a lot of my time saying to business leaders, we are citizens of the world. We cannot just leave things to the social sector and to the politicians to speak up about these climate change issues. We have as much clout as they, if not more than some of them, and we have the responsibility to speak out. And it makes good business sense.Richard Branson, Founder, Virgin Group
…we’re working in partnerships even with our competitors, but also with governments and other industries. But to help us get there, we need policymakers to play their role. We need them to give us certainty. We need them to level out the playing field.Hannah Jones, Vice President Sustainable Business & Innovation, Nike
When it comes to climate change, there is some concern about the regulatory policy system. We’re fearful of sudden government interaction. Nothing happens for four or five years and suddenly you are slammed with a huge regulatory system that you were unprepared for. Better to introduce it carefully and voluntarily now – rather than have it unleashed upon us.Mike Barry, Director of Sustainable Business, Marks & Spencer
From a policy perspective, General Motors and businesses in general look for long-term certainty and clarity. When you get the market, the customers, our products and policy all aligned, that’s when you can drive true transformation of an industry.David Tulauskas, Director Sustainability, General Motors
Two fiscal policy tools can drive decarbonisation: carbon pricing and the end of fossil fuel subsidies. Paying a price for emissions while, at the same time, encouraging the activity that causes them is perverse.Sandrine Dixson-Declève, Director of The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group
No CEO would survive if they said climate change is not realMike Bloomberg, Former NYS Mayor
Moving capital toward a low-carbon economy protects their beneficiaries’ returns, and is one of the fastest ways to address global warming. Companies take note when investors take action, and when money moves, the world moves too.Lance Pierce, President of CDP North America
California’s political and business leaders arrived (in Paris) with the clear conviction that climate is not only real, but demands action. Our experience offers a wealth of practical lessons for how to make rapid, sustainable progress toward the clean energy future.Tony Earley, Chairman, CEO and President, PG&E
Science shows that climate change will reduce food productivity and food security at the same time our world’s population is growing and requiring us to feed more people with fewer natural resources.John Bryant, CEO, Kellogg Company
As a global food company, we recognize the significant impacts climate change can have on our business if left unaddressed.Ken Powell, CEO, General Mills
(Climate change) is absolutely a threat. And that’s why we’re doing all that we’re doing today.Barry Parkin, CSO, Mars
I think what we’ve shown already in North Carolina is that when you provide the incentives – the investments tax credits for solar; when you have the renewable energy portfolio — it works.Letitia Webster, Senior Director, VF
Low-carbon, sustainable investments are key to our future.Tom DiNapoli, New York State Comptroller
We want the underlying companies in our ($300 billion) portfolio to be aligned with the transition to a low-carbon global economy.Anne Simpson, Global Governance Investment Director, CalPERS
If you can do one thing for me today, please, never refer to clean energy as “alternative energy” again.Michael Liebreich, Founder & Chairman of Bloomberg New Energy Finance Advisory Board
Getting to the Paris Agreement was the easy component, it meant setting the starting line. Now we have to turn those intentions into implemented activities and projects.Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary, UNFCCC
There seems to be a tendency to believe that now that the Paris Agreement is done, it is now up to governments. But the real action starts now. The business community and civil society need to push governments so that they will keep this agreement.Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary-General, United Nations
The once unthinkable has now become unstoppable. This train is moving. It started at the Paris station, it has to go and move.Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary-General, United Nations
The entry into force of the Paris Agreement just ten months after COP21 is a defining moment for the global economy.Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever and Chairman of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development
This milestone Paris Agreement is an important step in ensuring we can maintain quality of life on our planet for future generations.Neil McArthur, CEO Arcadis
The significance of the Paris Agreement and its universal impact cannot be underestimated. The transition to a zero carbon economy is inevitable. Now is the time for companies to start preparing for a zero carbon future.Jill Duggan, Director of The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group