Climate Action

An open letter from business to world leaders: “Be ambitious, and together we can address climate change”  

A person walks over 100,000 postcards with messages against climate change, sent by young people from all over the world and stuck together to break the Guinness World Record of the biggest postcard on the Jungfraufirn, the upper part of Europe's longest glacier, the Aletschgletscher, near Jungfraujoch, Switzerland November 16, 2018.   REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann     TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY - RC1B64CAAEC0

A prosperous, inclusive and low-carbon world is possible. Image: REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders
Our Impact
What's the World Economic Forum doing to accelerate action on Climate Action?
The Big Picture
Explore and monitor how Climate Crisis is affecting economies, industries and global issues
A hand holding a looking glass by a lake
Crowdsource Innovation
Get involved with our crowdsourced digital platform to deliver impact at scale
Stay up to date:

Climate Crisis

This open letter is to be released ahead of the 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) by the World Economic Forum on behalf of the Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders.

Climate change is a major threat to our environment, societies and economy, endangering our well-being and prosperity. But a prosperous, inclusive and low-carbon world is possible.

As heads of global businesses, we have an urgent but simple message for world leaders, heads of government and the international community ahead of the UNFCCC COP24 in Katowice:

We are committed to climate action. We stand ready to fast-track solutions to help you deliver on an enhanced and more ambitious action plan to tackle climate change and meet the goals set out at the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.

We know this is possible.

In 2015, our coalition the Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders – an informal group, facilitated by the World Economic Forum, of major global businesses from a range of sectors – called on governments to reach an ambitious climate deal, aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

When the Paris Agreement was reached, we confirmed our commitment to work together with the public sector and civil society to help deliver on its goals.

Since then, we have collectively reduced our own emissions by 9%* and are committed to reducing these further. We have introduced innovations and solutions, as shown in our recent Two Degrees of Transformation report.

But global greenhouse gas emissions remain at historic highs**. The aim of limiting global warming to well below two degrees is clearly not on track. We need to do more, faster, and together.

To do this, we are:

a) continuing to reduce emissions using strategies that make the most sense for our businesses

These include initiatives such as setting a (science-based) target, putting an internal price on carbon, reducing energy use, switching to renewable forms of power, and working with partners to lower emissions across value chains. All of these efforts support the goals of the Paris Agreement.

b) supportive of the thoughts behind the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures, convened by the Financial Stability Board

We will advocate for improved analysis and reporting of climate-related financial risks.

c) calling on other businesses to jointly step-up climate action

d) investing in low-carbon initiatives and companies, and in innovations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

We urge and support world leaders to:

a) implement effective carbon pricing mechanisms that drive a meaningful price *** on carbon across the globe

b) stimulate low-carbon finance and investments by offering coherent policies that shift financial flows from high-carbon investments to the low-carbon economy, thereby encouraging innovation, as well as adaptation investments

c) develop policy tools that help educate and positively influence societal demand for low-carbon solutions

These actions and incentives, facilitated by governments and backed by continued innovation in science and technology, will enable business to create jobs and economic value during the shift to a sustainable and socially responsible, low-carbon economy. This in turn will enable governments to set more ambitious climate targets.

The shift to low-carbon economies will be positive for communities and workers, future-proofing our businesses and economies while protecting the planet for future generations.

By working together, we can accelerate this transition and realize the future that humanity wants and needs.

The UN Secretary General’s Climate Summit in 2019 represents a clear milestone. We, the undersigned members of the Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders, are ready to help government leaders and policy-makers to develop and implement an enhanced, comprehensive, inclusive and ambitious action plan for 2020 and beyond.

List of signatories (as of 12 December 2018):

1. Ulrich Spiesshofer, President and Chief Executive Officer, ABB

2. Pierre Nanterme, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Accenture

3. José Manuel Entrecanales Domecq, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Acciona

4. Oliver Bäte, Chief Executive Officer, Allianz

5. Peter Oosterveer, Chief Executive Officer, Arcadis

6. Gregory Hodkinson, Chairman, Arup Group

7. Thomas Buberl, Chief Executive Officer, AXA

8. Martin Brudermüller, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors and Chief Technology Officer, BASF

9. Peter T. Grauer, Chairman, Bloomberg

10. Gavin Patterson, Chief Executive, BT Group

11. Ion Yadigaroglu, Managing Partner, Capricorn Investment Group

12. Cees 't Hart, Chief Executive Officer, Carlsberg

13. Patrick Allman-Ward, Chief Executive Officer, Dana Gas

14. Kim Fausing, President and Chief Executive Officer, Danfoss

15. Frank Appel, Chief Executive Officer, Deutsche Post DHL

16. Francesco Starace, Chief Executive Officer and General Manager, Enel

17. Isabelle Kocher, Chief Executive Officer, ENGIE Group

18. Jeffrey McDermott, Managing Partner, Greentech Capital Advisors

19. Jean-François van Boxmeer, Chairman of the Executive Board and Chief Executive Officer, Heineken

20. Ajit Gulabchand, Chairman and Managing Director, HCC

21. Ratul Puri, Chairman, Hindustan Powerprojects (Hindustan Power)

22. John Flint, Chief Executive Officer, HSBC Holdings

23. Ignacio Sánchez Galán, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Iberdrola

24. Salil S. Parekh, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Infosys

25. Ralph Hamers, Chief Executive Officer, ING Group

26. Chen Kangping, Chief Executive Officer, JinkoSolar

27. Bernard J. Tyson, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Kaiser Permanente

28. Sandra Wu Wen-Hsiu, Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer, Kokusai Kogyo

29. Jan Jenisch, Chief Executive Officer, LafargeHolcim

30. Tex Gunning, Chief Executive Officer, LeasePlan

31. Stefan Doboczky, Chief Executive Officer, Lenzing

32. H.S.H. Prince Max von und zu Liechtenstein, Chief Executive Officer, LGT

33. Michael H. McCain, President and Chief Executive Officer, Maple Leaf Foods

34. Jean Raby, Chief Executive Officer, Natixis Investment Managers

35. Henrik Poulsen, Chief Executive Officer, Ørsted

36. Ross Beaty, Chairman, Pan American Silver

37. Robert E. Moritz, Global Chairman, PwC International

38. Feike Sybesma, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Managing Board, Royal DSM

39. Frans van Houten, Chief Executive Officer, Royal Philips

40. Marc Benioff, Chairman and Co-Chief Executive Officer, Salesforce

41. Jean-Pascal Tricoire, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Schneider Electric

42. Eric Rondolat, Chief Executive Officer, Signify

43. Takeshi Niinami, Chief Executive Officer, Suntory Holdings

44. J. Erik Fyrwald, Chief Executive Officer, Syngenta International

45. Tulsi Tanti, Chairman, Suzlon Energy

46. Christian Mumenthaler, Group Chief Executive Officer, Swiss Reinsurance

47. Don Lindsay, President and Chief Executive Officer, Teck Resources

48. Sergio P. Ermotti, Group Chief Executive Officer, UBS

49. Paul Polman, Chief Executive Officer, Unilever

50. Anders Runevad, President and Chief Executive Officer, Vestas Wind Systems

51. Svein Tore Holsether, President and Chief Executive Officer, Yara International

Collectively, we have operations in 20 economic sectors across more than 150 countries and territories, generating more than $1.3 Trillion revenue in 2017.

* Based on 2015 and 2016 scope 1 and 2 emissions data disclosed by companies from this group that report to CDP (

*** Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition, Report of the High-Level Commission on Carbon Prices, 2017

A poll among the Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders in January 2017 showed that business leaders expect a carbon price of between $30-50 per tonne to have an impact on the transition to a low-carbon economy.

Don't miss any update on this topic

Create a free account and access your personalized content collection with our latest publications and analyses.

Sign up for free

License and Republishing

World Economic Forum articles may be republished in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License, and in accordance with our Terms of Use.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.

World Economic Forum logo
Global Agenda

The Agenda Weekly

A weekly update of the most important issues driving the global agenda

Subscribe today

You can unsubscribe at any time using the link in our emails. For more details, review our privacy policy.

Trust in voluntary carbon markets has been consistently low: What needs to change?

Antoine Rostand

June 12, 2024

About Us



Partners & Members

  • Join Us

Language Editions

Privacy Policy & Terms of Service

© 2024 World Economic Forum