Climate Action

Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders share open letter to world leaders for COP28

UN Climate Change Conference, COP28: United Arab Emirates from 30 November to 12 December 2023

UN Climate Change Conference, COP28: United Arab Emirates from 30 November to 12 December 2023 Image: COP28 / UAE

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COP28

This article is part of: Centre for Nature and Climate

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  • More than 100 CEOs and Senior Executives from Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders share open letter to world leaders ahead of COP28.
  • Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders represents $4 trillion in revenues and 12 million employees.
  • Every fraction of a degree counts in the race to net zero: we need transformative policies and actions to stand a chance of winning it.

This letter is being released ahead of COP28 by the World Economic Forum on behalf of the Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders.

Limiting the average global temperature increase to 1.5°C is at risk of slipping out of reach unless there is a rapid increase in public-private collaboration and action to accelerate emission reductions across global value chains. Our alliance members have made individual emission reduction targets amounting to an estimated 1.0 Gt CO2e by 2030 – as sustained human action to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions has the potential to alter society’s course on climate. However, success is dependent on government support to overcome the following challenges:

  • Complex and lengthy regulatory and administrative processes that slow the development of renewable energy projects and hinder the uptake of green and enabling solutions;
  • Lack of suitable grid infrastructure with power networks unprepared to adequately integrate an increasing share of renewable energy;
  • Technological constraints that delay efforts to scale up manufacturing capacity of early-stage decarbonization solutions;
  • Limited harmonization and interoperability between reporting standards that diverge across sectors and jurisdictions.
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Addressing these challenges will help maximize the impact of private sector ambition and action, therefore our asks to regulatory and policy-makers are to:

1. Massively scale up investment in renewable energy and power networks and streamline permitting and regulatory processes

While global investment in renewable energy reached a record $0.5 trillion in 2022, this is still less than a third of the annual investment needed towards 2030. Governments should therefore rapidly scale up renewable energy and invest in the required grid infrastructure including energy storage and supporting supply chains, also to increase private sector capital. We call on governments to complement this with stronger investments, policies and targets that enable the private sector to improve its energy efficiency.

The International Energy Agency estimates that global fossil fuel subsidies for consumption increased to an all-time high of $1 trillion in 2022. This is the wrong trajectory. Governments should phase out fossil fuel subsidies in a just and equitable way. Focus should be on funding clean energy and bio-based solutions through incentives such as the US Inflation Reduction Act and the EU Net Zero Industry Act, and the reskilling of workers in the energy transition.

In addition, cumbersome permitting processes are slowing down decarbonization efforts. The latest estimates show that build time for utility-scale solar and wind projects ranges from four to 10 or more years, depending on the geography. Policy change is needed to accelerate renewable energy projects and infrastructure while respecting a just transition, local communities and environmental standards.

2. Lead by example on public procurement practices

Public procurement is a significant share of GDP; 14% in the EU alone. The scale of this spending power could exert considerable influence in reducing emissions. If 14% of an economy adopts low-emitting procurement practices, this will send a strong market signal to suppliers to improve their products and services and can facilitate the uptake of breakthrough solutions. We call on governments to set ambitious, science-based procurement targets to create demand drivers and support the development of supply chains.

3. Turbocharge nature- and technology-based carbon removals

While it can never replace mitigation efforts, investments in technology and nature-based carbon removal must accelerate given the increasing risk of overshooting 1.5°C. Governments should therefore set appropriate carbon-removal targets, include them in their nationally determined contributions (NDCs) and National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs), and develop supportive regulation for the conservation and regeneration of existing carbon sinks.

In addition, they should incentivize corporate investments through an enabling regulatory environment and carbon markets. This includes high-quality credits and a carbon-pricing approach reflecting the true costs of climate change.

4. Simplify and harmonize climate disclosure and measuring standards

We recognize the importance of strengthening and streamlining reporting standards and acknowledge their positive impact on climate action. For global companies, harmonized disclosure and measuring standards are essential in providing high-quality and transparent information while ensuring efficiency. We call on all standard-setters, including the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB), the European Commission, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and other regulators, to continue to harmonize reporting requirements and ensure interoperability and reciprocity.

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In addition to calling on global policy-makers to act, we call on fellow business leaders to join us and raise their ambition by setting science-based targets and increasing the transparency of their emissions by publicly disclosing emissions data through entities such as CDP. Companies should engage their suppliers and customers to advance emission reductions across the full value chain.

The private sector needs to continuously increase its investments in energy efficiency, carbon reduction and technology- and nature-based removals. This collective action will not only amount to a meaningful contribution to global climate goals but will also drive sustainable value – the energy transition alone is expected to create an additional 51 million jobs by 2030.

Deeper collaboration in the areas of greatest impact between business and government is needed to accelerate our net-zero actions for the benefit of society, public health and the global economy – following a just transition pathway.

The Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders believes these policy changes can drive outsized impact and is ready to present these to policy-makers at COP28 and beyond.

Signatories:

1. Vincent Clerc, Chief Executive Officer, A.P. Moller-Maersk

2. Björn Rosengren, Chief Executive Officer, ABB

3. Julie Sweet, Chair and Chief Executive Officer, Accenture

4. Hakan Bulgurlu, Chief Executive Officer, Arçelik

5. Dr Alan Belfield, Group Chair, Arup

6. Pascal Soriot, Chief Executive Officer, AstraZeneca

7. Caspar Herzberg, Chief Executive Officer, AVEVA

8. Thomas Buberl, Chief Executive Officer, AXA

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

10. Ana Botín, Group Executive Chair, Banco Santander

11. Martin Brudermüller, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors, BASF SE

12 Bill Anderson, Chief Executive Officer, Bayer AG

13. Carlos Torres Vila, Chair, BBVA

14. Peter Grauer, Chairman, Bloomberg

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. Jacob Aarup-Andersen, Chief Executive Officer, Carlsberg Group

19. Fernando A. Gonzalez, Chief Executive Officer, CEMEX

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

21. Mahendra Singhi, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Dalmia Cement (Bharat) Limited.

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

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

24. Joe Ucuzoglu, Global Chief Executive Officer, Deloitte

25. Hiroshi Igarashi, Representative Executive Officer, President and Chief Executive Officer, Dentsu Group Inc.

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

27. Tobias Meyer, Group Chief Executive Officer, Deutsche Post DHL Group

28. Will Gardiner, Group Chief Executive, Drax

29. Dimitri de Vreeze, Chief Executive Officer, dsm-firmenich

30. Christophe Beck, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, Ecolab

31. Coen van Oostrom, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Edge

32. Miguel Stilwell d'Andrade, Chief Executive Officer, EDP

33. Flavio Cattaneo, Chief Executive Officer and General Manager, Enel

34. Catherine MacGregor, Chief Executive Officer, ENGIE35.

35. Lei Zhang, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Envision

36. Christian Otto Sinding, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Partner, EQT

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

38. Carmine Di Sibio, Global Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, EY

39. Revathi Advaithi, Chief Executive Officer, Flex

40. Stefan Klebert, Chief Executive Officer, GEA Group

41. Poul Due Jensen, Group Chief Executive Officer and President, Grundfos

42. Dolf van den Brink, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board, Heineken NV

43. Carsten Knobel, Chief Executive Officer, Henkel

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

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

46. Toshiaki Higashihara, Executive Chairman, Hitachi, Ltd.

47. Jan Jenisch, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Holcim

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

49. Ignacio S. Galán, Executive Chairman, Iberdrola

50. Oscar García Maceiras, Chief Executive Officer, Inditex

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

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

53. Steven van Rijswijk, Chief Executive Officer, ING

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

55. Christian Ulbrich, Chief Executive Officer, JLL

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

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

58. Hak Cheol Shin, Chief Executive Officer, LG Chem

59. HSH Prince Max von und zu Liechtenstein, Chairman, LGT

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

61. Ahmed Galal Ismail, Chief Executive Officer, Majid Al Futtaim

62. Jonas Prising, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, ManpowerGroup Inc.

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

64. Brad Smith, Vice Chair and President, Microsoft

65. James Harris, Executive Chair, Mott MacDonald Ltd

66. Francisco Reynés Massanet, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Naturgy

67. Mark Schneider, Chief Executive Officer, Nestlé

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

69. David Knibbe, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Executive Board, NN Group

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

71. Ester Baiget, President and Chief Executive Officer, Novozymes; Co-Chair, Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders

72. Mads Nipper, Group President and Chief Executive Officer, Ørsted

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

74. Claus Stampe, Chief Executive Officer, PensionDanmark

75. Ramon Laguarta, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer, PepsiCo

76. Robert E. Moritz, Global Chair, PwC

77. Sumant Sinha, Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, ReNew

78. Stefan Schaible, Global Managing Partner, Roland Berger GmbH

79. Feike Sijbesma, Chairman, Royal Philips; Co-Chair, Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders

80. Roy Jakobs, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Management and the Executive Committee, Royal Philips

81. Marc Benioff, Chair and Chief Executive Officer, Salesforce

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

83. Christian Levin, Chief Executive Officer, Scania

84. Peter Herweck, Chief Executive Officer, Schneider Electric

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

86. Jochen Eickholt, Chief Executive Officer, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy

87. Ilham Kadri, Chief Executive Officer, Solvay

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

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

93. Christophe Weber, President and Chief Executive Officer, Takeda Pharmaceutical Company

94. Jonathan Price, Chief Executive Officer, Teck

95. Sigve Brekke, President and Chief Executive Officer, Telenor

96. Dave Regnery, Chair and Chief Executive Officer, Trane Technologies

97. Donnie King, Chief Executive Officer, Tyson Foods Inc.

98. Mathias Miedreich, Chief Executive Officer, Umicore

99. Hein Schumacher, Chief Executive Officer, Unilever

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

101. Jim Rowan, President and Chief Executive Officer, Volvo Cars

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

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

104. Carl Eschenbach, Co-Chief Executive Officer, Workday

105. Patrick Decker, Chief Executive Officer, Xylem

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

107. Dr. Holger Klein, Chairman of the Board of Management and Chief Executive Officer, ZF Group

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

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