On February 5th, 2015, The B Team sent an open letter to Christiana Figueres of the UNFCCC calling for a long term net-zero greenhouse-gas emissions goal by the year 2050. The science is clear. Achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2100 will only provide a 66% chance of limiting global warming to 2 degrees. We believe that a 1-in-3 chance of failure is unacceptable, given the potential for catastrophic climate impacts, so we are calling for a more ambitious goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Additionally, a strong long-term goal would provide the added certainty and incentive needed to spur business action that can drive us towards a net-zero economy by the year 2050
Dear Christiana Figueres (Executive Secretary, UNFCCC),
Today, as global business leaders and members of The B Team, we are calling on governments and businesses to commit to bold action at this year’s COP21 negotiations in Paris.
Our ambition—a global goal of net-zero greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions by 2050—builds on recent talks at the COP20 climate summit in Lima, and is grounded on an assessment of the latest scientific research, business risks and the economic costs of failing to keep within the 2°C threshold.
As you enter into a critical week of discussions in Geneva, we ask that you communicate this goal to the government representatives who will be negotiating on behalf of the citizens of the world, and that you make every effort to ensure this goal becomes the foundation upon which countries build the text of the final agreement.
The recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessment concluded that achieving net-zero GHG emissions by 2100 will provide only a 66% chance of limiting global warming to 2ºC. We believe that a 1-in-3 chance of failure is unacceptable, given the potential for catastrophic climate impacts. Acting decisively and immediately, with a clear target of net-zero GHG emission by 2050, is the only way we can lower this risk and avoid ballooning costs.
Therefore we are calling for action in the following areas to achieve this:
- For governments to adopt meaningful and effective carbon pricing.
- For governments to end all fossil fuel subsidies, and to shift this capital to help scale affordable renewable energy solutions to enable wider economic transformation.
- For both businesses and governments to ensure the benefits of responses to climate change flow to vulnerable and impoverished communities that suffer disproportionately from climate change and are least equipped to cope with its impacts.
In conclusion, we believe that a global commitment to net-zero greenhouse-gas emissions by 2050 is what the world needs to avoid catastrophic impacts of climate change and is what governments, businesses, investors and communities need to plan and invest for the future.
Respectively signed by the following B Team Leaders:
Sir Richard Branson (Co-Chair)
Jochen Zeitz (Co-Chair)
Dr. Mo Ibrahim
Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
Professor Muhammad Yunus