- The Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders steps up and calls on G7 and other world leaders to accelerate a just transition.
- Over 70 global chief executives are helping to accelerate the transition to a net-zero economy through credible cross-sector collaboration.
- At least one-fifth of the world’s largest 2,000 public companies has now committed to meet net-zero targets by mid-century or sooner.
This is the text of an open letter from the Forum-hosted Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders.
We need bold action now for a just transition
With the ongoing challenge of the COVID pandemic, it is easy to forget that climate change is an immediate and growing threat to people, ecosystems, and economies – with our current trajectory leading us to potentially irreversible outcomes. To avoid the worst impacts of climate change we need to limit warming to 1.5°C, which will require nearly halving greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and reaching net-zero by 2050. This drastic departure from today’s emissions growth trajectory requires bold action across private and public sectors five months before COP26 in November.
Business is taking action
Recognizing the urgency to act on climate change, many businesses are already stepping up. At least one-fifth of the world’s largest 2,000 public companies, many of which we lead, has now committed to meet net-zero targets by mid-century or sooner, and the number is growing fast. The Race to Zero initiative championed by UNFCCC and COP26 is working with hundreds of companies and investors across the global economy to scale climate change solutions. In addition, our Alliance of global CEOs is helping to accelerate the transition to a net-zero economy through credible cross-sector collaboration: our members disclose emissions, set aggressive emissions reduction targets, embrace the right policies towards a low carbon economy and take actions in their businesses while encouraging and collaborating with others to do the same.
We call upon all world leaders including those meeting at the G7 Summit this week to deliver on our shared climate ambitions and enable a net-zero world – and additionally to work together with the private sector for bolder actions on shared ambitions within a clearer and more ambitious policy framework.
Transformative policy change is needed for full decarbonization
Governments are also starting to move: countries that emit over 60% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions have now committed to net-zero or carbon neutrality targets by around mid-century.
We now need these commitments to turn into actions, especially in the short term. This is because action from governments can accelerate even more action from companies. To decarbonize at the speed and scale required to achieve net-zero by 2050 at the latest, we urgently need transformative policy change. The Alliance is looking to governments to accelerate the transition before COP26 and beyond and calls on world leaders to:
- Publish ambitious and 1.5C-aligned Nationally Determined Contributions that halve emissions by 2030
- Commit to net-zero by 2050, underpinned by robust policy roadmaps and interim targets
- Ensure that developed countries meet and exceed their $100B commitment to support developing countries mitigate and adapt to climate change, and ensure the major development finance institutions also commit to science-based guidelines across their lending portfolios
Further, government support at a system level is needed to accelerate progress by business:
- Develop market-based meaningful and broadly accepted carbon pricing mechanisms with an escalating carbon price to enable greater competitiveness of low-carbon technologies, and control leakage through international cooperation on a global, connected carbon market*
- Compel all businesses to establish credible decarbonisation targets, fully disclose emissions across all scopes using consistent standards, and disclose climate-related risks and opportunities
- Eliminate fossil fuel subsidies and cut tariffs on climate-friendly goods
- Boost R&D and funding for green tech innovation, including for scaling of existing, proven solutions across value chains (especially in carbon-intensive sectors) and for carbon removals
- Invest in climate adaptation: create resilient cities and infrastructure by scaling natural disaster defences and risk transfer solutions, for example by advancing climate-resilient, sustainable food production and securing water supply
- Implement a suite of sector-specific incentives and actions, including:
-Power: phase out coal (with provision of worker funding and reskilling for a just transition), rapidly scale up renewable energy targets, and invest in required grid infrastructure and storage
-Transport: promote low-carbon modes of transport, electrification of transport, and invest in charging infrastructure
-Buildings and cities: accelerate renovation (insulation, heating/cooling) and promote international standards aimed at boosting green procurement and improving appliance efficiency
-Industry: support the development of material and process carbon-efficiency standards and encourage procurement of green industrial goods while promoting circularity of materials
-Land and agriculture: promote partnerships to eliminate deforestation and promote restoration of degraded lands, while encouraging circular, regenerative, and climate-smart practices with a focus on people, planet, and biodiversity
-Finance: boost green finance (e.g. through fiscal and/or monetary policy) and climate- related risk transfer mechanisms
What’s the World Economic Forum doing about climate change?
Climate change poses an urgent threat demanding decisive action. Communities around the world are already experiencing increased climate impacts, from droughts to floods to rising seas. The World Economic Forum's Global Risks Report continues to rank these environmental threats at the top of the list.
To limit global temperature rise to well below 2°C and as close as possible to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, it is essential that businesses, policy-makers, and civil society advance comprehensive near- and long-term climate actions in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change.
The World Economic Forum's Climate Initiative supports the scaling and acceleration of global climate action through public and private-sector collaboration. The Initiative works across several workstreams to develop and implement inclusive and ambitious solutions.
This includes the Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders, a global network of business leaders from various industries developing cost-effective solutions to transitioning to a low-carbon, climate-resilient economy. CEOs use their position and influence with policy-makers and corporate partners to accelerate the transition and realize the economic benefits of delivering a safer climate.
Contact us to get involved.
A sustainable and prosperous future?
Although the challenges ahead of us are substantial, we can deliver a just transition to a net-zero world. The transition has the potential to bring prosperity through green growth and jobs that set us on an equitable path. Not taking mitigating actions against climate change could shrink global GDP by up to 18% in the next 30 years. On the other hand, measures to green the production and use of energy could create 18 million additional jobs by 2030, while protecting the current 1.2 billion jobs that rely directly on a healthy and stable environment.
Members of our Alliance have made clear commitments and are working to transition their businesses to net-zero. Greater collaboration between business and government on achieving our net-zero ambitions can help accelerate this process for the benefit of our economies and societies.
As the Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders, we stand ready to work side-by-side with governments to support these policies and transform the scale of public-private effort this decade in the race to net-zero, for the benefit of people today and for generations to come.
We call on the G7 and other world leaders five months ahead of COP26 to help supercharge the net-zero and climate resilience transition with bold and courageous commitments, policies, and actions.
List of signatories
1. Søren Skou, Chief Executive Officer, A.P. Møller-Maersk
2. Björn Rosengren, Chief Executive Officer, ABB
3. Julie Sweet, Chief Executive Officer, Accenture
4. José Manuel Entrecanales, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, ACCIONA
5. Oliver Bäte, Chief Executive Officer, Allianz
6. Alan Belfield, Group Chair, Arup
7. Pascal Soriot, Chief Executive Officer, AstraZeneca
8. Thomas Buberl, Chief Executive Officer, AXA
9. Manny Maceda, Chief Executive Officer, Bain & Company
10. Martin Brudermüller, Chief Executive Officer, BASF
11. Werner Baumann, Chief Executive Officer, Bayer
12. Carlos Torres Vila, Chairman, BBVA
13. Michel Vounatsos, Chief Executive Officer, Biogen
14. Rich Lesser, Chief Executive Officer, Boston Consulting Group, Chief Advisor, Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders
15. Aiman Ezzat, Chief Executive Officer, Capgemini
16. Ion Yadigaroglu, Managing Partner, Capricorn Investment Group
17. Cees 't Hart, Chief Executive Officer, Carlsberg
18. Mahendra Singhi, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Dalmia Cement (Bharat)
19. Kim Fausing, President and Chief Executive Officer, Danfoss
20. Punit Renjen, Global Chief Executive Officer, Deloitte
21. Wendy Clark, Chief Executive Officer, Dentsu International
22. Frank Appel, Chief Executive Officer, Deutsche Post DHL
23. Francesco Starace, Chief Executive Officer and General Manager, Enel
24. Catherine MacGregor, Chief Executive Officer, Engie Group
25. Carmine Di Sibio, Global Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, EY
26. Poul Due Jensen, Chief Executive Officer, Grundfos
27. Helena Helmersson, Chief Executive Officer, H&M Group
28. Dolf van den Brink, Chief Executive Officer, HEINEKEN
29. Antonio Neri, President and Chief Executive Officer, Hewlett Packard Enterprise
30. Ignacio S. Galán, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Iberdrola
31. Pablo Isla, Chairman, Inditex
32. Salil Parekh, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Infosys
33. Steven van Rijswijk, Chief Executive Officer, ING
34. Jesper Brodin, Chief Executive Officer, Ingka Group, I IKEA, Co-Chair, Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders
35. Steve Demetriou, Chair and Chief Executive Officer, Jacobs Engineering Group
36. Christian Ulbrich, Chief Executive Officer, JLL
37. George R. Oliver, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Johnson Controls International
38. Alex Liu, Managing Partner and Chairman of the Board, Kearney
39. Bill Thomas, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, KPMG International
40. Tex Gunning, Chief Executive Officer, LeasePlan
41. Stefan Doboczky, Chief Executive Officer, Lenzing Group
42. Hak Cheol Shin, Chief Executive Officer, LG Chem
43. H.S.H. Prince Max von und zu Liechtenstein, Chairman, LGT
44. Anand Mahindra, Chairman, Mahindra Group
45. Alain Bejjani, Chief Executive Officer, Majid Al Futtaim
46. Jonas Prising, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Manpower Group
47. Mike Haigh, Chair of the Executive Board, Mott MacDonald
48. Mark Schneider, Chief Executive Officer, Nestlé
49. Tom Palmer, President and Chief Executive Officer, Newmont Corporation
50. Vas Narasimhan, Chief Executive Officer, Novartis
51. Lars Fruergaard Jørgensen, Chief Executive Officer, Novo Nordisk
52. Ester Baiget, Chief Executive Officer, Novozymes
53. Philippe Knoche, Chief Executive Officer, Orano
54. Mads Nipper, Group President and Chief Executive Officer, Ørsted
55. Torben Möger Pedersen, Chief Executive Officer, Pension Denmark
56. Ramon Laguarta, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, PepsiCo
57. Robert E. Moritz, Global Chairman, PwC
58. Dimitri De Vreeze, Co-CEO, Royal DSM
59. Feike Sybesma, Honorary Chairman, Royal DSM, Founder and Honorary Co-Chair, Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders
60. Frans van Houten, Chief Executive Officer, Royal Philips
61. Marc Benioff, Chair and Chief Executive Officer, Salesforce
62. Christian Levin, President and Chief Executive Officer, Scania
63. Jean-Pascal Tricoire, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Schneider Electric
64. Roland Busch, Chief Executive Officer, Siemens
65. Eric Rondolat, Chief Executive Officer, Signify
66. Ilham Kadri, Chief Executive Officer, Solvay
67. Bill Winters, Group Chief Executive Officer, Standard Chartered Bank
68. Takeshi Niinami, Chief Executive Officer, Suntory Holdings
69. Christian Mumenthaler, Group Chief Executive Officer, Swiss Re, Co-Chair, Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders
70. J. Erik Fyrwald, Chief Executive Officer, Syngenta Group
71. Christophe Weber, President and Chief Executive Officer, Takeda Pharmaceutical Company
72. Börje Ekholm, President and Chief Executive Officer, Ericsson
73. Michael W. Lamach, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Trane Technologies
74. Alan Jope, Chief Executive Officer, Unilever
75. Henrik Andersen, President and Chief Executive Officer, Vestas Wind Systems
76. Thierry Delaporte, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Wipro
77. Svein Tore Holsether, Chief Executive Officer and President, Yara
78. Wolf-Henning Scheider, Chief Executive Officer, ZF Friedrichshafen
79. Mario Greco, Group Chief Executive Officer, Zurich Insurance Company
Have you read?
*The Report of the High-Level Commission on Carbon Prices concludes that the explicit carbon-price level consistent with achieving the Paris temperature target is at least US$40–80/tCO2 by 2020 and US$50–100/tCO2 by 2030.