We warmly welcome the commitment from United States President-Elect Joe Biden to rejoin the Paris Agreement on day one of his Administration. Climate action must also be at the core of the United States’ economic recovery plans and at the heart of its international policy. Businesses across America and around the world stand ready to work with the incoming Administration to implement its ambitious climate agenda.
Business backs the Paris Agreement because it offers our best chance of averting catastrophic climate change by uniting governments in a collective effort to tackle the climate crisis. It sets a shared goal, helps create a level playing field and provides a structure for collaboration and collective action.
The Paris framework and ambitious national targets provide the clarity and confidence that companies need to make long-term investments that reduce emissions, drive innovation, competitiveness, risk management and growth — while raising the confidence of investors, customers and employees alike.
No single nation, company or individual can tackle the climate crisis alone. By quickly and decisively rejoining the Paris Agreement, and mobilizing a whole-of-government plan for increasing ambition and accelerating implementation across all sectors, the United States will send a clear message to business, investors and the rest of the world that the direction of travel is toward a prosperous zero-carbon economy.
In the years since the Paris Agreement was negotiated, the impacts of the climate crisis have been felt with ever increasing intensity by every nation on the planet, including the United States. These impacts are disproportionately affecting marginalized communities — particularly communities of color — and shedding light on the intersection between climate justice and racial justice. At the same time, efforts to reduce emissions have time and again proven to be powerful drivers of economic growth, better jobs and cleaner air for all.
The benefits of bold climate action hold in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Modeling shows that green recovery plans can boost income, employment and GDP better than return-to-normal stimulus measures, while significantly reducing emissions beyond the levels seen in 2020. In responding to the pandemic, we have the unique opportunity to simultaneously address several crises that society faces: public health, the economic downturn, the climate crisis and the linkages between climate justice and racial justice.
What works for business works for climate, which is why almost 1,400 of the world’s most influential companies, 230+ of them headquartered in the United States, have committed to take action to tackle the climate crisis through the We Mean Business coalition’s partners’ initiatives. Their combined market cap is equivalent to almost a quarter of global GDP, and they represent every sector of the economy from industry to finance, retail to chemicals.
With the United States recommitted to the Paris Agreement, companies will have the confidence to double down and act on their climate commitments at an even greater pace. This action is critical if we are to halve global emissions in the next decade and secure sustainable growth and prosperity for all.