The Shift Project has co-signed a declaration demanding that strong action be taken to tackle climate issues ahead of the COP 21. Other signatories are the MEDEF, the CPGME and 11 other organizations that bring companies together on societal responsibility and sustainable development.
Thanks to the IPCC, we now have enough knowledge at our disposal to act. The “cost of action” should be undermined by the “cost of inaction”. Economic actors get together to push the transition forward: political decision-making has to be unlocked. For the 2015 Paris Conference and for the transition in general, we call for adequate measures!
STATEMENT BY FRENCH BUSINESS ORGANIZATIONS AND NETWORKS
In light of the 2015 international climate summit in Paris
In 500 days the 21st Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change –commonly referred to as COP21- will be held in Paris. 194 countries of diverse cultural backgrounds and levels of development will come together to negotiate an agreement that is to succeed to the Kyoto Protocol.
The recent report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which summarizes the collaborative work of thousands of scientists and researchers, reasserts that climate change will bring significant disruptions to our societies. In order to mitigate and limit global warming, it is not only vital to reduce greenhouse gas emissions but also to adapt to changes that have to some extent become irreversible.
Since 2005, the European Union has implemented an ambitious policy to combat climate change that has led to emission reductions in its industrial sector. However, without strong measures from the international community, the global economy does not provide enough incentives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. And this despite the fact that companies are among the main actors able to reduce them or mitigate their impact. All business sectors are conscious of this reality and are already acting at an individual level. Following the work of pioneers who are leading the way, many companies – be it SMEs or large enterprises – have committed to extend their efforts in this field.
In this context, French business associations and professional networks that are acting in favor of sustainable development and the climate are willing to coordinate their actions and share their common priorities in light of preparations for COP21.
What better opportunity than COP21 to solidify this world of pioneers, to inspire others to do the same and to show the citizens worldwide that it is possible to tackle the challenge of climate change while ensuring sustainable human development and economic activities? What better occasion could there be to highlight the companies’ expertise in this field?
COP21 is the unique opportunity for economic actors and their representative organizations to place their commitment against climate change at the heart of their strategies, while maintaining the necessary competitiveness of companies. Many investments have already allowed them to reduce the carbon footprint of their products and services. Many innovations have been tested within communities and companies in the last years: mobility, buildings, energy, resource productivity, telecommunication, food industry…These now need to be deployed on a large scale to make them accessible to everybody.
Our country, for instance, can already produce fuel-efficient vehicles, energy-saving buildings, zero-carbon power plants, high-speed trains, energy efficiency processes and many other innovations that are essential in order to progress. France is therefore one of the industrialized countries with the lowest per capita carbon emissions.
These important deployments and transformations must be achieved at a moment when governments do not have much capacity to invest. It is therefore necessary to address the issue of financing, to increase the leverage between public and private finance and to promote a carbon price signal.
Dealing with the climate in a globalized economy goes far beyond borders. That is why, through a succession of events they will be planning next year until December 2015, business networks and organizations backing this statement invite European and global businesses and organizations to participate and share their commitments and climate actions. They invite them to launch a constructive dialogue with their local authorities in order to demonstrate how businesses will assume their responsibilities once governments establish rules at the international level that apply as much as possible to all large emitters equally, which would favor visibility and foster new practices and behaviors.
COP21, which will be hosted by France will be a success if it enables a convergence of the national policies of large emitters, backed by harmonization rules and cooperation mechanisms that value concrete and realistic solutions while ensuring equity and the right to human development.
Business organizations therefore call upon the 194 states to commit with strength and consistency to reaching a meaningful agreement, to send a clear message to economic stakeholders, to support the dissemination of technical and organizational solutions that are most cost-effective and encourage investments in a global low-carbon economy.
The representative organizations : CGPME, MEDEF
The network of economic actors : AFEP, CDP, Clean Tuesday, Comité 21, Collège des directeurs du développement durable (C3D), Entreprises pour l’environnement (EpE), Forum pour l’investissement responsable (FIR), Global Compact France, Orée, The Shift Project…