Policies are helping drive the shift towards a low carbon economy, according to a new report from We Mean Business, which adds that businesses should take advantage of the emerging opportunities for low carbon innovation.
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The report – The Climate Has Changed: Why Bold, Low Carbon Action Makes Good Business Sense – showcases what businesses are doing around the issues of climate change and sustainability.
We Mean Business is a coalition of organisations working with thousands of the world’s influential businesses and investors. The report argues that these businesses acknowledge the science behind climate change, recognise that acting to cut CO2 emissions is necessary to secure sustainable economic growth and advocate a low carbon future.
Not only does acting on emissions have moral benefits, it can also bring financial benefits, the report noted. For instance it found that the most forward-thinking companies, those that have set targets that align with climate schemes, have reduced their emissions intensity from 2012 to 2014 and achieved better financial returns on low carbon investment relative to their peers.
However, the report continues that even the most forward thinking companies are only making short-term commitments to carbon reduction. It calls on businesses and policymakers to do more to encourage business to invest in a more sustainable future.
“Climate action was once perceived by many governments and many business as about sacrifice,” states Christiana Figueres, executive secretary for the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, in the foreword of the report
“Today, the value proposition is very different. Today, it is the sacrifice economies and communities will increasingly have to make if the world fails to address climate change and the build-up of greenhouse gases.
“This is why I welcome the way leading business groups have come together to established We Mean Business. This unprecedented collaboration is a clear signal to governments that business is serious about tackling climate change and is ready to lead.”
The report has been released to coincide with a UN climate summit to be held in New York on Tuesday. Some 125 world leaders will meet to discuss an international agreement on climate change ahead of a conference to be held in Paris next year.
Photo: Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources