Business Leaders Welcome Historic Global Climate Agreement

12/12/2015
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Today, in Paris, world leaders signed the Paris Climate Agreement. We applaud governments of the world for achieving an historic and ambitious agreement to address climate change and shift the world toward a thriving, clean and just economy.

This agreement will have far-reaching effects, and transform our economies in unprecedented ways that help to protect the planet and its people.

It sends a clear market signal to all companies and investors that governments and citizens of the world are demanding that the global economy achieves net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in the second half of the century. We can achieve this through a combination of deep and rapid cuts in emissions and the active restoration of the earth’s vital ecosystems.

We congratulate the French Presidency of COP21 and the UNFCCC Secretariat, as well as all of the governments, civil society and business leaders of the world who have delivered a roadmap to help restore nature’s balance and keep our impact on climate change under control.

The business community is poised to work in partnership with governments and civil society to ensure its effective implementation. We now have the ability to unlock trillions of dollars of capital to transition towards a thriving clean energy future.

While we support the ambition to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by the second half of the century, businesses around the world are already starting to move.

We have the tools, resources and technology to accelerate the transition to a net-zero emissions economy by 2050 – which will maximize our chances of limiting global temperature rise to below 2°C and leave the door open for 1.5°C. This is an important target if we are to protect the world’s most vulnerable people and our oceans and coral reefs.

Solving climate change is fundamentally about upholding the rights of people around the world. All countries must work together to avoid further damage to the climate system, and help to ensure that the costs and benefits arising from this global transformation, as well as our responses to climate change, will be shared fairly and equitably.

Quotes from The B Team Leaders:

“Today, the course of history has shifted. Paris will be remembered for generations as a watershed moment when the people of the world came together and set us on a pathway to net-zero emissions, economic justice and shared prosperity. We have an opportunity to build a new economy, and business is poised to help make it happen. The “Paris effect” will ensure the economy of the future is driven by clean energy.”
Richard Branson, B Team Co-Founder & Founder, Virgin Group

“The business case for eliminating greenhouse gases by 2050 is irrefutable. Indeed, solving climate change presents the greatest economic and social development opportunity of our time. The new climate agreement is a historic turning point. Now Business can and must innovate to lead the transition to a clean economy. Together, it is our duty as human beings, responsible citizens and business leaders to protect the environment. A transition to a clean and green economy will lift millions out of poverty, and ensure the planet’s health for generations to come.”
Jochen Zeitz, B Team Co-Founder & Director, Kering

“The consequences of this agreement go far beyond the actions of governments. They will be felt in banks, stock exchanges, board rooms and research centres as the world absorbs the fact that we are embarking on an unprecedented project to decarbonise the global economy. This realisation will unlock trillions of dollars and the immense creativity and innovation of the private sector who will rise to the challenge in a way that will avert the worst effects of climate change.”
Paul Polman, CEO, Unilever & B Team Leader

“This is not only a turning point for our economy, but also an important moment for our business. We know sustainability is the key to success in fashion and now we have a clear vision from governments, to help truly transform our industry. It’s a great day for France and the world. Kering will go on showing the way”
Françaois-Henri Pinault, CEO, Kering

“Businesses are the greatest platforms for change in the world. As leaders, we have an obligation to focus on all of our stakeholders, including the environment. Protecting our planet must be a priority for every business, government and individual. We’re asking our world leaders to join us in combatting climate change and making the commitment to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.”
Marc Benioff, Salesforce Chairman and CEO & B Team Leader

“This is a critical moment for business in Kenya, across the African continent and around the world. While we still need to increase ambition with greater finance to help our least developed economies to leap frog old infrastructure this agreement can unlock trillions of dollars of investment from investors, it is also a great victory for our multilateral system”.
Bob Collymore, CEO, Safaricom

“This is truly a turning point in human history. We now have the chance to advance the wellbeing of people everywhere, while creating millions of new jobs and ending our reliance on fossil fuels. This will help us build a safer, more peaceful world for all. This is exactly what business needs in order to thrive in the long run.”
Arianna Huffington, Co-Founder, President & Editor-in-Chief, Huffington Post & B Team Leader

“The Paris deal gets us part of the way and ups the ante for climate action with a 1.5 °C goal. The race to stabilise the climate is now on in earnest. The industrial transformation required is bigger and more rapid than at any time in our history: it must be a just transition and it will take all of us.”
Sharan Burrow, General Secretary, ITUC & B Team Leader

“The strong outcome in Paris sends a clear signal to the energy industry that clean energy is the future of their business. With the new global framework providing the guideposts, the time is now for energy consumers every where to demand clean energy in every aspect of their lives.”
David Crane, B Team Leader

This is extremely timely. The Paris agreement sends a clear message, including need for all countries to remain transparent about their commitment to reduce emissions fairly and meaningfully. Finance can now flow to sustainable development and clean technology, to create millions of jobs in the places where employment is most needed.
Mo Ibrahim, Founder, Celtel &amp B Team Leader

For more information, contact:
David Stearns
Director of Communications
The B Team
ds@bteam.org
+1 718 501 8666

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