Business aspirations for COP26
For the last few months, the Climate Group and RE-Source have been hosting the Communicators of Change Taskforce. The taskforce is a new group for highly respected senior communications professionals committed to promoting the benefits of renewables.
It is an opportunity for peer-learning and provides a safe space for leaders to share challenges and ideas for continuous improvement. Members of the taskforce include Asahi, Bosch, Decathlon, Nestlé, Nissan and Sanofi.
In this blog series, we will be sharing insights and learnings from the taskforce. This week, we’re diving into COP26 and what they want to see happen. For more information on the taskforce, please contact [email protected]
First and foremost, COP26 is for governments, but civil society and business also have their part to play in the outcomes of the conference. Together, leading businesses and governments can create positively reinforcing ambition with government policies that give clarity and confidence to business to boost investment in net-zero solutions.
By making bold commitments, showcasing best practice, and sharing solutions, businesses can give government leaders the confidence to step up and set the policies and regulations that will support their efforts on climate and enable them to go further and faster.
Ahead of COP26, we spoke to our taskforce about what they want to see happen. Here are some of the key themes.
1. Decisive action on the 1.5C goal
Many businesses said outright that they want to see governments setting emission reduction targets that are in line with keeping global warming to less than 1.5C. Over 770 businesses have also called on G20 leaders, urging them to take action to stay within 1.5C. representing $2.7 USD trillion in annual revenue and employing 10 million people.
The businesses part of the Communicators of Change Taskforce have already done this, and they want to see the same from governments. Seeing governments set the same ambition will give business the confidence they need to make the investments needed to deliver on their commitments.
2. Acknowledgement of the role that nature can play
Businesses working in the food and beverage manufacturing industry are paying particular attention to Nature Day, having long campaigned for nature to be recognised as part of the solution. For example, Nestle, who for the last 10 years has been using a combination of tools, including supply chain mapping, certification, satellite monitoring and on-the-ground assessments, to ensure that the key forest-risk commodities they buy – meat, palm oil, pulp & paper, soy, and sugar – are not linked to deforestation.
3. Clear policy signals
Businesses are looking to COP26 outcomes to give them some certainty on the conditions they will be operating in over the next decade. With supportive policies businesses can turn ambition into action and reduce emissions faster.
4. The power of renewables
Countries are being asked at COP26 to come forward with ambitious 2030 emissions reductions targets that align with reaching net zero by the middle of the century. Accelerated renewables investment is central to decarbonisation and businesses are increasingly committing to play their part in delivering on these ambitions. For example. For Asahi Europe & International, all of their breweries will run on 100% renewable electricity by 2025.
By renewables being recognised at COP26 we hope that more governments commit to working with business to remove barriers to corporate purchasing of 100% renewable electricity. Committing to ending new coal power development and financing immediately, and developing plans to phase out coal-fired power generation by 2030 for advanced economies, and 2040 for other countries, while promoting electrification of transport and uptake of renewable energy across sectors. This should include removing barriers to corporate purchasing of 100% renewable electricity to enable companies to go quicker in their clean energy transition and invest more than policy currently allows in many jurisdictions. This will enable companies to transition quicker to clean energy and invest more than policy currently allows in many jurisdictions, but we need more governments to take action.
Companies that have set ambitious emissions reduction targets often don’t have the solutions and technology they need to achieve their goals. A COP26 outcome that results in clear policy from governments, united in reaching net-zero will help boost innovation. It will send clear signals to business and give confidence to industry sectors to invest in the solutions and technologies needed to reach their goals.
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