The entry into force of the Paris Agreement is defining for the global economyWe Mean Business & wbcsd
(Wednesday, 5 October 2016) The Paris Agreement has become a milestone as one of the fastest UN multilateral agreements to come into force in the history of the United Nations. It shows that despite rising geopolitical uncertainty, governments are more committed than ever to quick and ambitious climate action as the only way to deliver a cleaner, brighter future. And business mirrors this commitment.
Today is a day to celebrate. But the next test comes in delivering the Agreement. Business is already reducing emissions, building resilience and catalyzing investment in line with the Agreement’s long-term goals.
With the Agreement now having crossed this hurdle, businesses are scaling up their commitments in order to make the vision it outlined a reality.
Leaders from businesses and business groups commented:
“The entry into force of the Paris Agreement just ten months after COP21 is a defining moment for the global economy. It sends an unmistakable signal to business and investors that 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
“There is the world before Paris and the world after Paris. 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. We now need to scale up and speed up the implementation of the Paris Agreement through more ambitious NDCs supported by leveraged financial resources.”
Peter Bakker, President of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development
“Successful ratification of the Paris Agreement demonstrates clearly the political will of the signatories. 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
“This milestone agreement is an important step in ensuring we can maintain quality of life on our planet for future generations. Arcadis is eager to collaborate with its clients across the public and private sectors to support them in achieving the targets set out in this agreement. We can bring the detailed business and technological insights and innovative prowess to make it real.”
Neil McArthur, CEO of Arcadis
“The Paris agreement represents a turning point for business. The certainty of ever stronger policies to reduce emissions creates clarity and unlocks opportunities for developing products, services and operations for a low-carbon economy. We are only at the beginning, but the pace at which countries have been ratifying the agreement shows that the policy leadership is there to achieve real change. Now we need to work together for a rapid transition to a future built on clean, renewable energy.”
Steve Howard, Chief Sustainability Officer of IKEA Group
“The Earth’s ecosystems don’t have time for politics — only science. Today, the nations of the world said they agree. With surprising speed, they have ensured that the Paris Agreement will enter into force this year. It’s an historic moment — but our work must now accelerate. Now is the time for businesses to seize the economic opportunity before them, and shift rapidly toward zero greenhouse-gas emissions to create a sustainable, clean energy economy. And to do so in a just manner that respects human rights, creates millions of new jobs, lifts millions out of poverty and reduces inequality in all its forms.”
Keith Tuffley, CEO and Managing Partner of The B Team
“This is a historic moment which confirms the momentum and appetite in the business community and beyond to rise to the challenge of climate change. More and more companies are setting emission reduction targets in line with what the science says is necessary to keep global warming below 2 degrees. They are the leaders of tomorrow’s zero-carbon economy.”
Paul Simpson, CEO of CDP on behalf of the Science Based Targets initiative
“Much like the adoption of the Paris Agreement itself in December last year, the entry into force of the treaty today is a truly historic moment. Few international agreements have entered into force at such speed and arguably none have been so important to our common future as the Paris Agreement. The decision by many world leaders to act quickly and boldly over the past 10 months is to be applauded. Thanks should also go to the business leaders and politicians in state and regional governments whose actions and policies, such as committing to 100% renewable power, have helped create the momentum and political belief that a better, safer and more prosperous world can be created through bold climate action.”
Damian Ryan, Acting CEO of The Climate Group
“The unprecedented speed which is driving an early entry into force of the Paris Agreement shows the huge significance of the climate challenge for governments worldwide, in spite of the political turmoil emerging across many economies.
By fast tracking its ratification of the Agreement, the EU has been pivotal to this great momentum, taking its rightful position at the forefront of climate action.
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 (CLG)
“We are delighted that this crucially important milestone is here, earlier than expected, and not a moment too soon. The Paris Agreement is more than a multilateral climate deal. It is a stimulus package for the global economy. Paris will move more than $13 trillion to support a clean energy future creating sustainable livelihoods and new market opportunities. We celebrate the courage of governments as they commit to protecting our common home while driving equitable access to sustainable development. We acknowledge the thousands of companies and investors who are responding to new policy incentives by being bold in their own climate commitments. Over the coming years they will reduce emissions, enhance resilience, and mobilize the finance that will bring Paris to life. Working together — governments and business — will turn the promise of Paris into real inclusive and sustainable economies.”
Aron Cramer, President and CEO of BSR
“The Paris Agreement could go down in history as the most impactful multilateral treaty of all time. By acting with unprecedented speed to bring the agreement into force, the world’s governments have given global business a powerful signal to drive investment, innovation and growth in the zero carbon economy. And this signal will only get stronger over the next four years as countries take note of technology trends and corporate action in revising their national plans as required by the agreement.”
Nigel Topping, CEO of We Mean Business
Notes to Editors:
About We Mean Business
We Mean Business is a coalition of organizations working with thousands of the world’s most influential businesses and investors. These businesses recognize that the transition to a low carbon economy is the only way to secure sustainable economic growth and prosperity for all. To accelerate this transition, we have formed a common platform to amplify the business voice, catalyze bold climate action by all, and promote smart policy frameworks.
About The World Business Council for Sustainable Development
The WBCSD is a CEO-led organization of forward-thinking companies that galvanizes the global business community to create a sustainable future for business, society and the environment. Together with its members, the council applies its respected thought leadership and effective advocacy to generate constructive solutions and take shared action.
For more details about this release, please contact:
Elise Buckle, WBCSD Climate Policy Manager, [email protected] +41 79 278 48 90
Felicity Glennie-Holmes, WBCSD Director of Communications, [email protected] +41799333665
Caroline Holtum, We Mean Business Communications Director, c[email protected] +44 777 585 7203