COP 21: An Unstoppable Momentum

COP 21: An Unstoppable Momentum

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Lise Kingo marks opening of #COP21 w/ her thoughts on #climate negotiations & role of biz #Caring4Climate
Wednesday, December 2, 2015 - 6:00am

Posted by Lise Kingo, Executive Director, UN Global Compact on 30 November 2015

Today marks the opening of COP 21 in Paris where Government leaders will negotiate an agreement to reduce emissions and put us on a path towards climate neutrality. The recent attacks underscore the importance of these negotiations and the opportunity for the global community to come together to address one of the most critical issues of our time.

We are encouraged by the political will of global leaders from more than 190 countries to reach an agreement and, at the same time, never before have we seen this level of engagement from the private sector. It is clear that the momentum is unstoppable.

It is no longer a question of if we transition to a low-carbon economy. Rather, it is a question of how. The private sector can help to fill the gap between what has been committed by Governments though the INDCs and what is needed to reach carbon neutrality in the second half of the century.

The UN Global Compact is playing a vital role in this process. We have built the largest coalition of businesses that are taking action on climate and have consistently challenged companies to go further in transforming their business models, adopting policies that reduce their emissions and being transparent about their efforts.

Since 2007, through our Caring for Climate initiative, we have brought over 450 companies together to call for a robust international agreement, recognizing that this is essential for providing predictability, unlocking capital and advancing the power of sustainable business.

Now, we will be in Paris to support an international agreement that sends the right market signals to reward responsible business and put a stop to damaging behaviours. Our Business Forum on December 8th is the official platform for business at COP21 to showcase corporate leadership on climate in key areas like carbon pricing, responsible policy engagement, science-based targets and adaptation.

While we have seen an acceleration in the pace and ambition of corporate sustainability as the risks and opportunities have become more apparent, we know that this is not enough. We need 100% participation from the business community.

An agreement in Paris is the catalyst needed to mobilize the majority of companies to join this movement and accelerate progress. We can’t afford to miss this important opportunity and need Government leaders to demonstrate the courage to finalize an agreement that sets us on a course towards a fully sustainable future.

CATEGORY: Environment