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New WEF report finds a 600-gigaton gap in national emissions-reduction ambitions and policies that must be closed to keep 1.5°C target alive, and outlines 10 ways for businesses and governments to accelerate decarbonization and close this gap.
The Alliance for CEO Climate
a CEO-led community facilitated by the World Economic Forum that is committed to
accelerating the net-zero transition, has released a report calling on
businesses and governments to shift from incremental to systemic actions to meet
Bold Measures to Close the Climate Action Gap: A Call for Systemic Change by
published in partnership with the Boston Consulting
Group (BCG), complements the State of Climate
launched prior to COP28.
According to the analysis, while individual climate action has increased,
collectively the sum is not sufficient to reach the level of systemic change
needed. There is a 600-plus-gigaton gap in national emissions-reduction ambition
and policy that needs to be closed to limit global warming to 1.5°C — which
calls for stronger government action.
Meanwhile, looking at CDP
data for the 1,000
largest companies globally, likely well over 10 percent of global emissions are
in the supply chains of those companies — showing the dramatic systems impact
that the world’s largest companies could have.
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“The first UN global stocktake and the first part of this report have
highlighted a large climate-action gap that we are not on track to close,” said
Pim Valdre, Head of Climate Ambition
Initiatives at the World Economic Forum. “We need to urgently shift into
delivery mode — focusing on immediate actions with outsized impacts. Enabling
these actions calls for public-private action to drive the right policies,
technologies and financial
needed to achieve a system-wide transformation.”
While COP28 yielded some forward
— including global agreements to triple renewable energy and double energy
efficiency by 2030 — more is needed to deliver on commitments, the report
The Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders — which consists of leaders from more than 120 top
companies from a range of sectors and regions, representing more than $4
trillion in total revenues and 12 million employees — called for decision-makers
at the WEF’s Annual
in Davos this week to shift from incremental actions to those that can
transform systems and reach exponential impact.
“While COP28 resulted in progress and many companies have already started
climate initiatives, the sum of the parts is still insufficient. Companies
remain constrained by obstacles such as high costs and interest rates, low
customer willingness to pay, or a lack of supporting permitting and
regulations,” said Rich Lesser,
Global Chair of BCG and Chief Advisor to the Alliance of CEO
Climate Leaders. “This report brings answers to these obstacles, with examples
of practical actions that can transform systems from the inside. If all
government and corporate leaders start acting on them now and together, we will
go a long way towards the scale of impact that we need.”
Companies can and should drive systemic impact beyond their internal
initiatives. The report highlights five actions with the potential for dramatic
According to CDP data, likely well over 10 percent of global emissions are
in the supply chains of the 1,000 largest companies globally.
Enable customers to make more sustainable
Reducing the first 50 percent of many products’ emissions can be achieved
with an end-price impact of under 1 percent.
Drive change with peers in their industry, especially in supply-chain
‘pinch points’: 10 players or less control more than 40 percent of many
Engage in cross-industry
— especially large-scale buying groups: mobilizing less than 10 percent
of the 1,000 largest companies’ Capex and purchases could close the
Advocate and support bolder policies: According to
the advocacy of 95 percent of global companies is today either misaligned
with the Paris goals or sending mixed signals.
Governments have a major responsibility to deploy mitigation solutions in a
just and socially acceptable
The report highlights five priorities to help governments close the
600-plus-gigaton emissions gap:
Move up net-zero targets to 2050 or earlier, increase near-term targets, and
raise financial and technical support from higher-income to lower-income
Recognize and put a material price on
Double financing and incentives and make public procurement
Remove obstacles such as permitting lead times, supply-chain bottlenecks,
If progress remains too slow, consider more drastic measures — such as hard
technology bans, or massive
How to deliver these and other critical actions for the net-zero transition will
be discussed at a meeting of the Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders this week at
the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting.
Published Jan 15, 2024 8am EST / 5am PST / 1pm GMT / 2pm CET