On Earth Day 2016, world leaders gathered in New York to ratify the Paris Agreement, sending a strong signal of commitment to realizing the reality of a post-carbon world.
"April 22nd, 2016 is a critical moment in the fight against climate change. It marks the end of an era of asking if and how we should act on climate and the beginning of a new phase where countries, businesses and individuals are all taking steps toward achieving a clean energy economy. Most importantly, if we can achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, we retain the promise of limiting global temperature rise below the 1.5 degree threshold needed to protect our vulnerable oceans, island nations and the communities that depend on them."
- Leah Seligmann, Director, Climate, The B Team
Business and The B Team Leaders loudly voiced support for swift and bold action on climate. Some highlights are below:
Our Greatest Challenge is Also Our Biggest Opportunity
"Now is the time to move through that fear and see acting on climate as the opportunity it really is. One that, if we succeed, can also help meet many of the other sustainable development goals and create a better future for the whole Earth."
- Sir Richard Branson, Founder, Virgin Group and Virgin Unite; Co-Chair, The B Team. Read the full post.
The Beginning of the Fight Against Climate Change
"There was a remarkable consensus that was achieved in Paris by representatives of every country who inhabit this global village. The global community is now moving, all in the same direction. Doing something about global warming - rather than doing nothing at all - is the new societal norm. But one thing has not changed. We are still running out of time."
- David Crane, Former President and CEO, NRG. Read the full post.
Paris Agreement and a Just Transition
"There’s no doubt that the systems change required for a zero carbon future is massive – it’s an industrial transformation that must be faster and deeper than at any time in our history. The challenge of industrial transformation is both an imperative and an opportunity. Without a plan for a just transition, there will be fear and uncertainty for workers and business. That’s why we’ve started the conversation with workers, and their communities. Workers have a right to know how companies will be transitioning to a zero carbon future."
- Sharan Burrow, General Secretary, International Trade Union Confederation. Read the full post.
Business Backs Low Carbon USA
"We want this economy to be energy efficient and powered by low carbon energy. We believe there are cost-effective and innovative solutions that can help us achieve these objectives. Failure to build a low carbon economy could put America’s prosperity at risk. But the right action now would create jobs and boost competitiveness."
- Companies, including Salesforce, Unilever and The Huffington Post voice support for U.S. Clean Power Plan. Read the full open letter.