THE NEXT ECONOMY -
More than 60 environmental leaders and organizations have signed The Carbon Levy Project declaration, calling for a tax on fossil fuel extraction that would help pay for damages caused by climate change. The declaration states that fossil fuel companies are accountable for around 70 percent of present day global warming and should be held accountable for the resulting costs to the countries most affected. Signatories include author Naomi Klein, 350.org’s Bill McKibben, and Greenpeace’s Kumi Naidoo.
Earlier this month, 195 nations reached a landmark agreement at COP21 in Paris to fight climate change and unleash actions and investment towards a low-carbon, resilient and sustainable future.
As evidenced by the unprecedented private-sector engagement in COP21 earlier this month, businesses globally get that they need to innovate (and improve!) their products, services and business models to combat climate change, resource scarcity and unpredictable futures. Aside from the alignment of 195 nations on a climate-action agreement, what did all the talk at COP21 amount to from a business perspective? A lot of initiatives that push forward change and collaboration. But is it all smoke and mirrors, and toothless pledges, or is there real action brewing?
ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE -
The Conference of the Parties … COP21 … the climate conference … or just “Paris,” as in “What’s going to happen in Paris?”
NEW METRICS -
The Science-Based Targets initiative announced Tuesday that 114 companies have now committed to set emissions-reduction targets in line with what scientists say is necessary to keep global warming below the dangerous threshold of 2 degrees Celsius. The announcement was made at the LPAA Business focus event hosted by Caring for Climate at COP21 in Paris.
MARKETING AND COMMS -
Today at the UN Climate Change conference (COP21), the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Climate CoLab, in collaboration with the United Nations Secretary-General, announced the launch of a series of global, online contests to help strengthen the resilience of vulnerable countries to respond to climate-related hazards.
NEW METRICS -
Experts on the economics of climate change have revealed concerns that damages from climate change impacts will be larger and more immediate than previously estimated, according to a new survey from The Institute for Policy Integrity at New York University School of Law.The survey’s respondents were limited to those who have published an article about food production, climate adaptation, energy economics and other topics related to climate change in a highly ranked, peer-reviewed economics journal since 1994.
SUPPLY CHAIN -
The international climate negotiations currently underway in Paris at COP21 are focused on commitments by national and subnational governments to gradually reduce emissions, primarily from direct downstream sources — things like power plants, energy-intensive manufacturing and vehicles. Meanwhile, upstream emissions typically are ignored.
“We need innovation that gives us energy that’s cheaper than today’s hydrocarbon energy, that has zero CO2 emissions, and that’s as reliable as today’s overall energy system. And when you put all those requirements together, we need an energy miracle,” Bill Gates recently told The Atlantic.
If cities around the world take aggressive climate change action, they can help cut global emissions by 3.7 billion tons a year by 2030 — helping to close the “emissions gap” between what countries have promised to do before the COP21 climate talks, and what is needed to avoid a rise in temperature above 2 degrees Celsius, according to a new report by the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) on behalf of C40.The emissions gap amounts to around 15 billion tons of carbon dioxide a year.
BEHAVIOR CHANGE -
Ahead of the UN 2015 Paris Climate Conference (COP21), Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo became the latest major banks to pledge to eliminate their support for the coal industry in favor of reducing carbon pollution associated with the industry.Morgan Stanley said that it “recognizes that climate change poses significant risks to the global economy and that reducing carbon emissions is critical to our success in addressing the challenges presented by a changing climate.”
SUPPLY CHAIN -
A penguin and a cow walk into a bar. The cow says, "We have a problem. Every year cows emit so much methane into the atmosphere - the equivalent of fifty-times more CO2 than the entire country of Switzerland! It's killing our image. We don't know what to do." The penguin pondered for a moment and replied, "Maybe it's something you ate."
Businesses have a central role in addressing the forest issues that are in today’s headlines—including the Indonesian fires (which emitted more CO2 in three weeks than the entire German economy in a year), and the Amazon forests, which may be at a tipping point with serious
Developing countries will need to pay an additional $270 billion more each year to adapt to the impacts of climate change if COP21 fails to elicit increased global pledges to cut greenhouse gas emissions, according to a new report by Oxfam.Game-changers in the Paris climate deal warns that developing countries’ economies face being crushed under the double burden of climate change adaptation costs of almost $800 billion and more than twice that in economic losses every year by 2050 if pledges to cut emissions are not improved.
THE NEXT ECONOMY -
Next week marks the start of important climate negotiations in Paris – the aim of COP21 is to deliver a new international agreement that will put the world on track towards a low-carbon future. The feeling in the air is one of optimism – there are high hopes the agreement could go beyond its intended diplomacy and act as a historic catalyst to drive real leadership on the issue.
Despite the recent horrific acts in Paris, next week world leaders will converge on the city for the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference — otherwise known as the Conference of the Parties (COP) 21 — to achieve what many hope will be the first legally binding and universal agreement on climate change.
MARKETING AND COMMS -
This Tuesday afternoon breakout session saw Thomas Kolster, founder and creative director at the Goodvertising Agency, and Kerry Eustice, Editorial Partnerships Editor at The Guardian Sustainable Business, share their perspectives on changing the conversation around sustainability values.Early on, Kolster asserted that sustainability advertising is not doing enough to drive change, as it tends to be less engaging than other advertising messages. He and Eustice discussed dos, don’ts and new approaches that could change the way the message of sustainability is communicated.
A majority of business leaders say that a long term agreement at the UN climate summit (COP21) in Paris is critical to supporting private sector investment in low carbon solutions, according to a global study by the United Nations Global Compact and Accenture.The UN Global Compact-Accenture CEO Study report, Special Edition: A Call to Climate Action, also reveals that executives see action on climate change as an opportunity for growth and innovation that will be essential to securing competitive advantage in their industries.
On November 5, 12 Australian companies committed to climate action at the Australian Climate Leadership Summit in Sydney, an official lead-up event to the COP21 UN climate conference. They join over 250 other companies from around the world who have made commitments through the We Mean Business coalition, including over 40 multinationals that are headquartered or active in Australia.
NEW METRICS -
Between 470 to 760 million people could lose their homes to rising sea levels if carbon emissions meet or exceed 4°C of warming — the direction in which business-as-usual is heading — with unstoppable rises to occur over centuries, according to a new report and searchable interactive maps published by Climate Central.