UN Climate Press Release / 12 Nov, 2017
Industry Can Deliver Much of Paris with Closer Government Partnerships

Bonn, Nov 12 – Global industry is set to deliver much of the emissions reductions needed to achieve the Paris Agreement goal but closer national and international policy and implementation strategy partnerships together with governments will help business take further, faster action.

This was one of the key messages today from business leaders and high-level politicians at the special Industry Day event at the COP23 UN Climate Change Conference, where the 2017 Climate and Clean Air Awards are also being presented to governments, businesses and NGOs for efforts to reduce short-lived climate pollutants.

“California strongly supports the United Nations’ unstoppable move to decarbonize the world economy. We join with states across America—and around the world—that will continue aggressive action to curb greenhouse gas emissions,” said Jerry Brown, Governor of California and a leader of climate policy in his home state.

“Industry is taking action on climate change like no other period in history,” said Peter Bakker, President and CEO at the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). “The transition to the low-carbon economy is inevitable, and business will continue to implement the solutions necessary for fulfilling the Paris Agreement.”

Business and other non-state actors at the event urged COP23 country negotiators to consider:  

How to ensure a structured policy dialogue between governments and other stakeholders through the Marrakech Partnership for global Climate Action.

How to formally introduce and incorporate input from non-state actors in the Facilitative Dialogue between governments on where we are, where we want to go and how we get there.

Building partnerships for resilience across global supply chains and in vulnerable communities experiencing climate impacts

Supporting carbon markets and enabling cross-border collaboration on emission reduction efforts

The central goal of the Paris Agreement is to keep the average global temperature rise well below 2 degrees Celsius and as close as possible to 1.5 degrees. About one degree of that rise has already happened, underlining the urgency to progress further and faster to cut the greenhouse gases that cause global warming.

Getting on track to that goal is required if the world is also to achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals under the UN 2030 Agenda, and faster action by global industry is a cross-cutting requirement for every one of these 17 goals.

Policy and Clarity on Global Climate Action System Critical to Boost Progress

Since 2015, over 600 companies with combined revenues of more than USD$15 trillion have made over 1,000 commitments to climate action through We Mean Business.

Many are going 100% renewable through RE100, implementing science-based climate targets and collaborating across sectors through the Low Carbon Technology Partnerships initiative (LCTPi). These ambitious companies are collectively driving the transition to the low-carbon world.

Taken together, the ambitions of LCTPi alone are estimated to target 65% of emissions reductions necessary for remaining under the 2°C limit, and could channel USD $5-10 trillion of investment into the low-carbon economy while supporting millions of jobs worldwide.

This is a just fraction of what industry can contribute to implementation of the Paris Agreement because there is significant untapped potential for what could be accomplished in the right policy environment.

“Industry will deliver the low-carbon economy of the future. Forward-thinking companies must continue to push policy in the right direction,” said Nigel Topping, CEO of We Mean Business.

2017 Climate and Clean Air Awards Underline Partnership Power

To highlight the contributions of industry, the Climate and Clean Air Coalition is today recognizing the importance of industry actions to reduce climate pollutants, as well as government efforts to create the policies and regulations that enable these activities and inspire innovation.

Manuel Pulgar-Vidal a jury member for the 2017 Climate and Clean Air Award, Head of Climate and Energy at WWF, and former Minister of Environment for Peru and President of COP20, said the winners represent what fast climate action looks like.

“When we came up with the concept of an Action Agenda, these were the type of activities we had in mind. It is about government, industry and civil society working together to make changes at different levels of society to move us toward a safe future that benefits all,” he said

As business and other non-state actors act together on climate like this, they serve as proof for policymakers that strong climate targets will be supported by the implementation of practical solutions.

“Business can provide policy advice to governments for setting up suitable framework conditions,” said UNIDO Senior Programme Management Expert Takeshi Nagasawa. “As a knowledge-sharing and project development platform, UNIDO can help capitalize on the sustainable energy aspects of Industry 4.0 by transforming systems or leapfrog technology waves.”

It’s clear that industry is leading the way to a low-carbon world and that companies are poised to work with governments.

"We are key implementation partners for the Paris Agreement. The in-depth transformation requires all sectors of society to join forces. Business is willing to do its share to lead the way and to be instrumental in the delivery” said Jean-Pierre Clamadieu, Solvay CEO and WBCSD Vice-Chair.

Business and industry are harnessing trends in the circular economy, low-carbon infrastructure and digital technology to deliver the climate solutions that will speed the transition to low-carbon economy. These topics are all central to discussions taking place during Industry Day.

A circular economy is a system in which waste and emissions are minimized by actions such as repairing, reusing and recycling.

For more information, please contact:

Felicity Glennie-Holmes, WBCSD Communications
Email: glennie-holmes@wbcsd.org, Phone: +41 22 839 3110

About the CCAC

The Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) is a voluntary global partnership of 54 countries, 17 intergovernmental organizations, and 45 businesses, scientific institutions and civil society committed to catalysing concrete, substantial action to reduce Short Lived Climate Pollutants (SLCPs). The Coalition has 11 initiatives working to raise awareness, mobilize resources and lead transformative actions in key sectors. These actions must go hand in hand with deep and persistent cuts to carbon dioxide and other long-lived greenhouse gases if we are to achieve the goal of the Paris Agreement and keep global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.  The Coalition’s Secretariat is hosted by UN Environment.

About The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) is the world’s largest business organisation with a network of over 6 million members in more than 100 countries. We work to promote international trade, responsible business conduct and a global approach to regulation through a unique mix of advocacy and standard setting activities—together with market-leading dispute resolution services. Our members include many of the world’s largest companies, SMEs, business associations and local chambers of commerce.

ICC is the global business focal point to the UNFCCC and in 2017, was granted Observer Status at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), the first time a private sector organization has been admitted formally into the United Nations system. Find out more at www.iccwbo.org


UNIDO is the specialized agency of the United Nations that promotes industrial development for poverty reduction, inclusive globalization and environmental sustainability.

The mission of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), as described in the Lima Declaration adopted at the fifteenth session of the UNIDO General Conference in 2013, is to promote and accelerate inclusive and sustainable industrial development (ISID) in Member States.

The relevance of ISID as an integrated approach to all three pillars of sustainable development is recognized by the recently adopted 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which will frame United Nations and country efforts towards sustainable development in the next fifteen years. UNIDO’s mandate is fully recognized in SDG-9, which calls to “Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation”. The relevance of ISID, however, applies in greater or lesser extent to all SDGs.

About We Mean Business

We Mean Business is a global coalition of nonprofit organizations working with the world’s most influential businesses to take action on climate change. The coalition brings together seven organizations, BSR, CDP, Ceres, The B Team, The Climate Group, The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. Together we catalyze business action to drive policy ambition and accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy. Find out more at wemeanbusinesscoaltion.org.

About the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)

WBCSD is a global, CEO-led organization of over 200 leading businesses working together to accelerate the transition to a sustainable world. We help make our member companies more successful and sustainable by focusing on the maximum positive impact for shareholders, the environment and societies.

Our member companies come from all business sectors and all major economies, representing a combined revenue of more than $8.5 trillion and 19 million employees. Our global network of almost 70 national business councils gives our members unparalleled reach across the globe. WBCSD is uniquely positioned to work with member companies along and across value chains to deliver impactful business solutions to the most challenging sustainability issues.

Together, we are the leading voice of business for sustainability: united by our vision of a world where more than 9 billion people are all living well and within the boundaries of our planet, by 2050. Find out more at http://www.wbcsd.org

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