As the global community prepared to meet for the landmark Paris Climate Change Conference (COP21) in December 2015, We Mean Business – a coalition of organizations working with thousands of the world’s most influential businesses and investors – saw an opportunity to serve as a common platform to amplify the voice of business leadership, catalyze bold climate action, and promote smart policy framework.
Through TrustLaw, the Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) and its We Mean Business partners were connected to DLA Piper to prepare a brief that makes specific recommendations for the Paris Agreement, to encourage the adoption of policies that stimulate the private sector and make it a partner with governments in implementing ambitious climate action.
Focusing on key components of the Paris Agreement, the brief outlines eight specific text proposals matching the vocabulary used in international agreements sent to all key negotiators at COP21 for proposed inclusion in the final agreement. These specific policy proposals call for: net zero greenhouse gas emissions well before the end of the century; the strengthening of commitments every five years; the enactment of meaningful carbon pricing; new and additional climate finance at scale; transparency and accountability to promote a race to the top; national commitments at the highest end of ambition; adaptation to build climate resilient economies and communities; and increase pre-2020 ambition.
We Mean Business hopes that the brief will turn the Paris agreement from a diplomatic settlement between countries into a catalytic instrument for the real economy that commits all governments to domestic climate policy ambition at the highest level of their capabilities, mobilizes finance at scale to fund the transition to a low carbon economy, and creates an inclusive enabling environment for all stakeholders including business to act with sustained purpose on climate change.
This brief sends a clear message to national and international policymakers: business and governments need to work together to shape a policy environment which accelerates climate leadership and shows that the transition to the low carbon economy is inevitable, irreversible, and irresistible.