Climate Crisis

More than 100 CEOs and senior executives share an open letter for world leaders at COP27

This image shows a flooded street, illustrating the message of the Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders

The Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders has a message for COP27 Image: Photo by Misbahul Aulia on Unsplash

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Climate Crisis

  • The Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders shares an open letter for world leaders at COP27.
  • Alliance members know that limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius requires significant collaboration and shared responsibility between the private and public sectors.
  • Knowing this, the corporate leaders are ready to work side by side with governments to accelerate the transition to net zero.

This letter is being released ahead of COP27 by the World Economic Forum on behalf of the Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders.

More than 100 CEOs and senior executives of large multinational organizations, all members of the Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders, have strong convictions that our ambitious climate targets can be realized only with the support of governments.

We recognize the positive progress to date. Emissions under current policies are projected to reach 58 GtCO2e in 2030, 2 GtCO2e lower than what it was in 2019, but still 25 GtCO2e higher than what is essential to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. This gap is equivalent to the annual emissions of 5.4 billion cars. Unfortunately, assuming full implementation of unconditional NDCs still results in a 23 GtCO2e gap (2019 and 2022 UNEP Emissions Gap Report). Governments must raise their ambitions and enact policy changes to close this gap, otherwise we face a significant threat to the existence of human life and nature.

This letter outlines the actions we believe governments and businesses need to take to unlock the potential of the private sector and to move towards a path that limits global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

We, the Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders, are in this together to solve the climate crisis

We are ready to work side-by-side with governments to deliver bold climate action. We encourage all business leaders to set science-based targets to halve global emissions by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050 at the latest.

The global impact on food and energy prices, notably due to the war in Ukraine, continues to hurt households, businesses and economies worldwide. The crisis is a stark reminder of the fragile nature of the current energy and food systems, which are still dominated by fossil fuels. Leaders at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) have the chance to make this a historic turning point towards cleaner, more affordable and secure energy and food systems. The Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders, therefore, welcome Egypt’s hosting of COP27 this year and Africa’s leadership on climate action, adaptation, resilience and a just transition.

Accelerating the transition to net zero requires significant collaboration and shared responsibility between the private and public sectors. We believe that business commitments to climate action backed by private sector actions and investments can reinforce the mandate for governments to raise their own ambitions and enable faster progress. Government targets, supporting policies and transition plans can provide clarity, predictability and the competitive landscape to encourage more businesses to take action and to make transition-aligned investments.

As members of the Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders, we have committed to reducing emissions by more than 1 gigatons annually by 2030 and have, on average, reduced scope 1 and 2 emissions by 22% from 2019-2020 levels, outpacing major nations.*

We call on our peers in the private sector to join us in:

  • Setting science-based targets in line with the Paris Agreement, with a clear roadmap that takes sector-specific pathways into account.
  • Collaborating within and across sectors and value chains to drive transparency, advocacy and action in alliances and initiatives while working with major industry and trade associations to advance alignment with the Paris Agreement.
  • Contributing to the development of internationally harmonized reporting standards.

In this context and with leaders meeting at COP27 and the G20, we call on governments to:

Set bold ambitions and follow through on commitments

Deliver on the promise in the Glasgow Climate Pact and commit to ambitious and Paris Agreement-aligned nationally determined contributions and translate them into plans and policies that at least halve global carbon emissions by 2030 and contribute to global net zero by 2050.

Accelerate the transition

Drive down the green premium of low-carbon technologies for hard-to-abate sectors by unlocking blended finance (concessionary lending, guarantee mechanisms and others), scaling innovative sustainable finance mechanisms, integrating climate and sustainability criteria in public procurement and promoting the alignment of international standards for transformational technologies.

The focus is on action. Recognizing that many solutions already exist, there is an urgent need to:

  • Break down barriers by simplifying regulations, speeding up permitting processes and creating the enabling policy frameworks to accelerate scaling and deploying these solutions. Essential to progress is increased R&D expenditure and the inclusion of digital and physical infrastructure to ensure supply meets demand.
  • Provide incentives, including policies for emerging renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies on both the supply and the demand side, while also supporting hard-to-abate sectors through additional funding for innovation and the scaling up of new solutions, including circularity, carbon removal and natural climate solutions.
  • Put a price on carbon and phase out fossil fuel subsidies in a way that is both just and results in their eventual elimination. Combined, this will improve the competitiveness of sustainable low-carbon technologies.
  • Invest in reskilling and upskilling of those in the workforce that are impacted by the transition and enable more people to participate in the green economy.

Invest in mitigation, adaptation and a just transition

Ensure that developed countries meet and exceed their $100 billion commitment and that these funds go directly to supporting developing countries’ efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change. This is fundamental to establishing and maintaining confidence between countries to tackle the climate crisis together.

The impacts of climate change are already being felt, from more frequent heatwaves and wildfires to more severe tropical cyclones and floods. These changes disproportionately impact developing countries and threaten current and future economic development, human health and welfare. For new climate adaptation infrastructure projects, governments should strive for a conditionality of sustainability (e.g. building materials and techniques). Investing in water, healthy food systems and resilient supply chains while increasing local production in the Global South using regenerative agriculture and other sustainable farming and food production practices is integral to climate adaptation and resilience.

This must be done while protecting biodiversity and ecosystems and ensuring a fair and inclusive transition for all. This transition needs a radical rethinking of how we do business and a prolonged focus throughout the private and public sectors aligned with bold policy actions to decarbonize the economy.

Internationally harmonize reporting and disclosure standards

With the current divergence of standards underway, we call on the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB), the European Commission, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and all other regulating bodies to align their collective efforts to arrive at globally-aligned standards to accurately measure and compare progress against ambitious targets. The standards must be interoperable, decision-useful and implementable to ensure they create trust and lasting change. Finally, market-based instruments (including carbon markets, power purchase agreements, etc.) have an essential role to play in reducing carbon emissions globally but need greater alignment and clear standards and frameworks.

This is the decade of action, so we must work side-by-side with governments to scale up public-private efforts in the drive to net zero. Alliance members will be in Egypt during COP27 to discuss with world leaders, government officials and civil society representatives how, together, we can take positive action to tackle the climate crisis.


1. Søren Skou, Chief Executive Officer, A.P. Møller-Maersk

2. Björn Rosengren, President and Chief Executive Officer, ABB

3. Julie Sweet, Chief Executive Officer, Accenture

4. Oliver Bäte, Chief Executive Officer, Allianz

5. Hakan Bulgurlu, Chief Executive Officer, Arçelik

6. Alan Belfield, Chair, Arup Group

7. Pascal Soriot, Chief Executive Officer, AstraZeneca Plc

8. Peter Herweck, Chief Executive Officer, AVEVA Group Plc

9. Thomas Buberl, Chief Executive Officer, AXA

10. Manny Maceda, Worldwide Managing Partner, Bain & Company

11. Ana Botín, Group Executive Chairman, Banco Santander

12. Werner Baumann, Chairman of the Board of Management, Bayer AG

13. Carlos Torres Vila, Chair, BBVA

14. Peter T. Grauer, Chairman, Bloomberg LP

15. Rich Lesser, Global Chair, Boston Consulting Group; Chief Advisor, Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders

16. Christoph Schweizer, Chief Executive Officer, Boston Consulting Group

17. Aiman Ezzat, Chief Executive Officer, Capgemini

18. Cees 't Hart, Chief Executive Officer, Carlsberg Group

19. Zoran Bogdanovic, Chief Executive Officer, Coca-Cola HBC AG

20. Kim Fausing, President and Chief Executive Officer, Danfoss A/S

21. Michael Dell, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Dell Technologies

22. Punit Renjen, Chief Executive Officer, Deloitte Global

23. Christian Sewing, Chief Executive Officer, Deutsche Bank AG

24. Hiroshi Igarashi, CEO Dentsu Group

25. Frank Appel, Chief Executive Officer, Deutsche Post DHL Group

26. Christophe Beck, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Ecolab

27. Coen van Oostrom, Chief Executive Officer, Edge

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

29. Catherine MacGregor, Chief Executive Officer, ENGIE

30. Zhang Lei, Chief Executive Officer, Envision Group

31. Christian Sinding, CEO and Managing Partner, EQT

32. Börje Ekholm, President and Chief Executive Officer, Ericsson

33. Carmine Di Sibio, Global Chairman and CEO, EY

34. Revathi Advaithi, Chief Executive Officer, Flex

35. Stefan Klebert, Chief Executive Officer, GEA Group

36. Poul Due Jensen, Chief Executive Officer, Grundfos

37. Helena Helmersson, Chief Executive Officer, H&M Group

38. Dolf van den Brink, Chief Executive Officer, HEINEKEN NV

39. Carsten Knobel, Chief Executive Officer, Henkel

40. Stanley M. Bergman, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, Henry Schein Inc.

41. Antonio Neri, President and Chief Executive Officer, Hewlett Packard Enterprise

42. Jan Jenisch, Chief Executive Officer, Holcim

43. Enrique Lores, President and Chief Executive Officer, HP Inc.

44. Noel Quinn, Group Chief Executive, HSBC

45. Ignacio Galán, Executive Chairman, Iberdrola

46. Pablo Isla, Executive Chairman, Inditex

47. Aloke Lohia, Group Chief Executive Officer, Indorama Ventures

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

49. Steven van Rijswijk, Chief Executive Officer, ING

50. Jesper Brodin, Chief Executive Officer, Ingka Group I IKEA; Co-Chair, Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders

51. Christian Ulbrich, Global Chief Executive Officer and President, JLL

52. George Oliver, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Johnson Controls

53. Alex Liu, Managing Partner and Chairman of the Board, Kearney

54. Bill Thomas, Global Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, KPMG

55. Tex Gunning, Chief Executive Officer, LeasePlan Corporation N.V.

56. Niels B. Christiansen, Chief Executive Officer & President, LEGO Group

57. Hak Cheol Shin, Chief Executive Officer, LG Chem Ltd

58. H.S.H. Prince Max von und zu Liechtenstein, Chairman, LGT

59. Dr. Anish Shah, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Mahindra Group

60. Alain Bejjani, Chief Executive Officer, Majid Al Futtaim Holding

61. Jonas Prising, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, ManpowerGroup

62. Bob Sternfels, Global Managing Partner, McKinsey & Company

63. Brad Smith, Vice Chair and President, Microsoft

64. James Harris, Executive Chair, Mott MacDonald

65. Mark Schneider, Chief Executive Officer, Nestlé

66. Tom Palmer, President and Chief Executive Officer, Newmont

67. David Knibbe, Chief Executive Officer, NN Group

68. Lars Fruergaard Jørgensen, President and Chief Executive Officer, Novo Nordisk

69. Ester Baiget, President and Chief Executive Officer, Novozymes

70. Philippe Knoche, Chief Executive Officer, Orano

71. Mads Nipper, Group President and CEO, Ørsted

72. Nikesh Arora, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman, Palo Alto Networks

73. Sumant Sinha, Chairman and CEO, ReNew Energy Global Plc.

74. Torben Möger Pedersen, Chief Executive Officer, PensionDanmark

75. Ramon Laguarta, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, PepsiCo

76. Robert E. Moritz, Global Chairman, PwC

77. Stefan Schaible, Global Managing Partner, Roland Berger

78. Dimitri de Vreeze, Co-Chief Executive Officer and Managing Board Member, Royal DSM

79. Feike Sybesma, Honorary Chairman, Royal DSM; Founder and Co-Chair, Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders

80. Marc Benioff, Chair and Co-Chief Executive Officer, Salesforce

81. Roy Jakobs, Chief Executive Officer, Royal Philips

82. Christian Levin, President and Chief Executive Officer, Scania CV AB

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

84. Christian Klein, Chief Executive Officer and Member of the Executive Board, SAP SE

85. Roland Busch, President and Chief Executive Officer, Siemens AG

86. Eric Rondolat, Chief Executive Officer, Signify

87. Ilham Kadri, Chief Executive Officer, Solvay

88. Kenichiro Yoshida, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Sony Group Corporation

89. Bill Winters, Group Chief Executive, Standard Chartered Bank

90. Takeshi Niinami, Chief Executive Officer, Suntory Holdings

91. Walter Schalka, Chief Executive Officer, Suzano S.A.

92. Christian Mumenthaler, Group Chief Executive Officer, Swiss Reinsurance Company Ltd; Co-Chair, Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders

93. Erik Fyrwald, Chief Executive Officer, Syngenta Group

94. Kevin Hourican, President and Chief Executive Officer, Sysco

95. David S. Regnery, Chief Executive Officer, Trane Technologies

96. Alan Jope, Chief Executive Officer, Unilever

97. Henrik Andersen, President and Chief Executive Officer, Vestas Wind Systems

98. Martin Lundstedt, President and Chief Executive Officer, Volvo Group

99. Thierry Delaporte, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Wipro Limited

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

101. Wolf-Henning Scheider, Chairman of the Board of Management and Chief Executive Officer, ZF Group

102. Mario Greco, Group Chief Executive Officer, Zurich Insurance Group

*Such as Brazil (13% 2019-2020 reduction), USA (11% 2019-2020 reduction), Europe and India (both 8% 19-20 reduction), all taken from the Carbon Monitor Programme, analysis.

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