By Keith Tuffley and Leah Seligmann
The B Team applauds today’s news that 60 countries have now ratified the Paris Agreement, an important step which accelerates momentum for the world’s transition to a clean-energy global economy.
This milestone – combined with assurances from world leaders and United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon that the 55% of emissions threshold will also be crossed in 2016 – is a clear demonstration that countries are taking the agreement seriously and want to give the agreement the full force of international law by the end of this year.
Speedy ratification is essential, acting as a bulwark against backtracking in today’s unsteady global political environment. As soon as the agreement enters into force, it will be nearly impossible to reverse. And the sooner that happens, the sooner a clear message can be sent to business that investment in the low-emissions economy is good investment.
As The B Team leaders David Crane and Sharan Burrow wrote earlier this month, entry into force “will cause business-as-usual corporate boards and investors to shift away from unsustainable business models and strategies as they recognize the vast market opportunities of the clean energy economy. It will unlock capital and accelerate investment in the development and commercialization of new technologies such as carbon capture, clean-energy generation and storage.”
Investments in community renewal and national climate resilience can limit the impact of climate change on the world’s most vulnerable people – whose own aspirations and views must be sought out and incorporated as we proceed through this transitional period.
We must ensure that the transition to the net-zero economy is a just one, centered in fairness to people and communities that shares the benefits and burdens of climate change. And we must guarantee that the transition is anchored in respect for human rights, protecting the workforce and communities impacted by this monumental shift.
If done correctly, we will create new opportunities for people previously excluded from economic development, and truly achieve a sustainable, prosperous future for all.