The Journey Past Paris
Negotiating a global climate deal is the key focus for national governments at COP21. World governments also recognize that businesses, cities, and sub-national governments have the knowledge, agency, and agility to catalyse near-term carbon cuts.
Workstream 2, created by the Durban Platform in 2011, is an important focal point for the agreement, as it is the part of the agreement that will facilitate decarbonization of the economy ahead of the official start of the national commitments in 2020.
Workstream 2, which will continue after COP21, has two main functions:
1) Provide a space for the private sector to support policies that increase investment and reduce barriers into the low-carbon economy. Ahead of COP21, business collectively developed a clear set of policy asks that have been well received by negotiators as part of the global negotiations. Similar input into national and subnational policy will help develop mechanisms that business can back.
2) Continue to boost climate action pledges. Many businesses are making clear commitments like setting science based targets and moving to 100% renewable power. As a complement, investors are pledging to decarbonize portfolios ensuring their holdings are aligned with the new climate economy. So far, 335 companies and 160 investors have made 841 commitments – and the numbers keep increasing.
Businesses are side by side with governments on the road through Paris – a first for the international climate negotiations. Workstream 2 provides an ideal platform for collaboration between business and governments that will lead to significant carbon cuts and avoid locking in carbon intensive assets as we approach 2020.