More than 100 CEOs call for urgent climate action from governments, investors and businessWWF
(Gland, Switzerland, 26 November 2015) Ahead of historic climate talks in Paris next week, entrepreneurs from innovative cleantech companies from all around the world have issued a renewed call for governments, investors and multinational corporations to take action on climate change.
The Entrepreneurs Call to Climate Action and COP 21 urges world leaders to “leave the fossil fuel era behind as soon as we can” and use innovative, existing solutions to create jobs.
The Call to Climate Action is signed by more than 105 CEOs, chairpersons and founders of companies based in India, South Africa, Germany, China, US, Japan, Canada, UK, Mexico, France, Italy, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands, Zimbabwe, Croatia, Costa Rica, South Korea, Brazil, Indonesia and Estonia, many of which operate globally.
The Call is also supported by 20 international organisations including The Climate Group, We Mean Business, Sustainia and WWF. It follows recent and widespread calls from civil society, faith groups and multinational corporates for more ambitious action to tackle climate change.
Despite the fact that climate scientists have warned that we need to sharply and urgently curb emissions to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, a substantive amount of finance is still being allocated to the discovery and development of fossil fuel resources. Meanwhile, funding is the largest obstacle to many energy efficiency and renewable energy entrepreneurs around the world.
Samantha Smith, leader of WWF’s Global Climate and Energy Initiative said, “The technology and the business models to shift away from fossil fuels already exist – but they need support. With the climate negotiations in Paris just a few days away, world leaders and investors must use the opportunity to show that we are willing to embrace solutions for a more sustainable future.”
Mark Kenber, CEO of The Climate Group, said: “We believe that a new era of ambitious climate action is dawning. The world is now better placed than at any other time in history to realise the potential of a prosperous low carbon economy. We have the technology, and the economic and business case is stronger than ever. Bold climate action is a historic opportunity – and national leaders must seize that opportunity in Paris.”
Nigel Topping, CEO of We Mean Business said: “It is very exciting to see an unprecedented number of businesses around the world investing in the future growth prospects of the low-carbon economy, making the decarbonization of the economy inevitable, irreversible and irresistible. According to the Climate Has Changed report, forward-thinking companies that are taking bold climate actions are seeing an average internal rate of return of 27% on their low-carbon investments. A strong climate deal in Paris will give the policy certainty that companies and investors need to drive the low-carbon transition, further and faster.”
Mikkel Andersen, Interim CEO and Director of Global Strategic Services, Sustainia said: “A sustainable society is possible- not in a distant future but starting today – by simply choosing differently. Each year at Sustainia we identify hundreds of new sustainable solutions from businesses that are readily available, cost efficient and scalable that can create the low-carbon society we need. However, to make this happen, we need different choices to be made at global scale. The sustainable businesses need more attention; especially when it comes to access to funding for speeding up the transition to the low-carbon society. We have proven the solutions are here. COP21 needs to prove the desire to make a difference is there too.”
Mainak Chakraborty, CEO, GPS Renewables said, “If bioenergy can work reliably and cost-effectively, and complement the availability and storage issues of solar and wind, a 100 per cent renewable energy future can happen much sooner than expected. We have done our bit by building that bioenergy solution. The only thing stopping us from transforming a billion lives today is finance and policy. Hence this plea to our leaders to do their bit.”
Johan Siverklev, founder of Air to Air, a heat exchange company said, “The greatest challenge for climate innovation is still that entrepreneurs spend more time chasing funding than developing their technologies which increases the time to market significantly. It is high time capital starts chasing climate entrepreneurs rather than the other way around.”
For further information, contact:
Mandy Jean Woods [email protected] / @MandyJeanWoods / +27 72 393 0027
Sam Smith [email protected] / @pandaclimate / +47 450 22 149
Stefan Henningsson [email protected] / @shenningsson / +46 70 57 99 291
About WWF – WWF’s mission is to stop the degradation of the earth’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature. The Global Climate & Energy Initiative (GCEI) is WWF’s global programme addressing climate change, promoting renewable and sustainable energy, scaling up green finance, engaging the private sector and working nationally and internationally on implementing low carbon, climate resilient development.