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Business Leaders Urge Action on Climate Change

750 business leaders from companies that have signed the UN Global Compact participated in a survey for a special report by UN Global Compact – Accenture’s CEO Study titled, “A Call to Climate Action.” The report shows that these business leaders see climate change as a business opportunity, potentially leading to growth and innovation.  In interviews with leaders from the worlds largest companies – those with annual revenues in excess of US$1bn – a majority sees the urgency to address climate change:

  • 91 percent of the surveyed CEOs see climate change action as an urgent priority for business.
  • 70% see opportunities for growth and innovation.
  • 67% report a clear business case for action.
  • 69% see investment in climate solutions as essential to competitive advantage.

But there is a large gap between the ambition of company leaders and the execution of impactful changes. This is where governments and policy makers come in.  Business leaders are urging strong climate measures be taken which will help unlock the potential of the private sector and have identified five policy measures that they say will unlock further private sector investment in climate solutions.

  • Legislative and fiscal tools to increase investment.
  • Financial apparatus to stimulate R&D and innovation.
  • Global, robust and predictable carbon pricing mechanisms.
  • Performance standards to reduce emissions and enhance resilience.
  • Removal or phasing out of fossil fuel subsidies.

While companies are beginning to recognize the need to take serious action on climate change, business leaders agree that a long-term agreement in Paris will be critical to unlocking further private sector investment in climate solutions.

“At COP21, politicians have the chance to set up a long-term, reliable emission reduction framework, enabled by low-carbon technologies… Creative minds in business all over the world would have a clear picture of the low-carbon future they are innovating for, finding answers to the substantial challenges we are facing.” Kurt Bock CEO, BASF

Read the full report here.