Posted in: news

12th November 2021

COP26: Commitments offer hope. Action and accountability build trust

November 12, 2021, New York: In 2015, we came together as a team to rally the Paris Climate Agreement across the line.

Over the past two weeks in Glasgow, we have seen action from more than 100 countries to end deforestation by 2030, as well as pledges from more than 100 countries to reduce methane emissions by 30% by 2030. With considerable international support, the IFRS Foundation launched the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB), a critical first step to developing a common, global standard for corporate sustainability disclosures. And the United States and China, the world's two largest emitters, unveiled a deal to ramp up cooperation.

These developments and many others give us hope, but much more is needed to deliver on the promise of the Paris Agreement and keep 1.5 alive. Years of unfulfilled promises have damaged the credibility of those in power. Younger generations, who will inherit an escalating crisis they did not create, are calling for concrete actions and accountability to avoid catastrophic global warming.

The B Team urges business and governments to take ownership of a crisis we collectively created and step up in more and meaningful ways. Now. Leaders everywhere must accelerate action, demonstrate accountability and ensure that public displays of solidarity with the most vulnerable are matched with tangible support.

  1. Action. In this decisive decade, five years is too long to wait to assess climate progress. Countries, communities and companies, including our own, must increase ambition—and the actions necessary to deliver on those ambitions—every year. We must all lead by example to keep global average temperature rise below 1.5°C.
  2. Accountability. We are in a crisis of public trust, and trust erodes further when leaders fail to follow through on commitments. We need a transparent Global Stocktake at COP28 in 2023 that holds countries and non-state actors to account for their actions and non-actions. At the same time, governments and companies should transparently report their progress on an annual basis to ensure they remain on track in their efforts to limit global warming to 1.5°C.
  3. Solidarity. We must stand shoulder to shoulder with the most vulnerable, mobilize the full US$100 billion in public climate finance for developing countries and see to it that trillions of dollars in pledged private investment gets into the hands of those who need it most. This also means addressing the debt burden and realigning perverse incentives. In particular, the US$1.8 trillion that governments currently spend on environmentally harmful subsidies must be repurposed to support a just transition to a low-carbon, nature-positive economy.


As the climate crisis intensifies around the world, we must rebalance our economic and political systems. We understand the demand of protesters marching in the streets of Glasgow: “What do we want? System change! When do we want it? Now!

Business can no longer afford to measure success on profit alone. Successful stewardship of our businesses can, and must, exist alongside responsible stewardship of our communities and planet. And we believe that a future of shared prosperity and wellbeing is only possible when a diversity of voices is present at the table.

This moment demands leadership that is inclusive, transparent, urgent and boldly collaborative. In this spirit, B Team Leaders commit to catalyzing a multi-stakeholder action dialogue in 2022 with youth activists, public servants, investors, business leaders and communities on the front lines of the climate crisis.

If we are to safeguard the future for generations to come, the way forward must include a bold reset of policy, business and investor incentives. Let’s get to work, together, before time runs out.

Jesper Brodin, CEO, Ingka Group (IKEA); chair, The B Team

Sharan Burrow, general secretary, International Trade Union Confederation; vice-chair, The B Team

Sir Richard Branson, founder, Virgin Group; co-founder, The B Team

Jochen Zeitz, president, CEO & chair, Harley-Davidson, Inc.; co-founder, The B Team

Ester Baiget, president & CEO, Novozymes

Oliver Bäte, CEO, Allianz

Marc Benioff, founder, chair & CEO, Salesforce

Kathy Calvin, former president & CEO, UN Foundation

David Crane, CEO, Climate Real Impact Solutions; former CEO, NRG Energy

Emmanuel Faber, former CEO & Chair, Danone

Christiana Figueres, founder, Global Optimism; former executive secretary, UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)

Mats Granryd, director general, GSMA

André Hoffmann, vice chair, Roche Holding AG

Arianna Huffington, founder & CEO, Thrive Global

Dr. Mo Ibrahim, founder, Celtel; founder & chair, Mo Ibrahim Foundation

Van Jones, founder, Dream Corps

Ilham Kadri, CEO & president, Solvay

Yolanda Kakabadse, former president, World Wildlife Fund International

Guilherme Leal, co-founder & co-chair, Natura &Co

Andrew Liveris, chair emeritus & former CEO, Dow Chemical

Hiro Mizuno, UN Special Envoy on Innovative Finance and Sustainable Investments; former chief investment officer, Government Pension Investment Fund of Japan

Jean Oelwang, founding CEO & president, Virgin Unite

Torben Möger Pedersen, CEO, PensionDanmark

Paul Polman, former CEO, Unilever; co-founder & chair, IMAGINE

Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland; chair, The Elders

Hamdi Ulukaya, CEO & founder, Chobani; founder, Tent Partnership for Refugees

Contact

For more information, please contact Nadine Dobbs via nd@bteam.org.

About The B Team


The B Team is a global collective of business and civil society leaders working to create new norms of corporate leadership today, for a better tomorrow. Together, these leaders are holding themselves and their peers accountable for a new way of doing business — one that measures success not only by financial performance, but also by the health of people and our planet — for the benefit of generations to come.