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Beyond Paris: the role business can play in climate action before 2020

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New York, USA / United States of America

With the expectations of reaching an ambitious climate agreement by the end of this year, all the reflectors are on Paris, on the process to reach such an ambitious agreement and on the commitments that countries have started to put on the table.

Despite not having an official voice in the process, it is undeniable that businesses have played and will continue to play a significant role in shaping the level of ambition of the individual country commitments and, ultimately, of the international climate agreement.

The pre-2020 question

In recognition of this, a number of progressive businesses are stepping forward in support of an ambitious climate agreement and encouraging other companies to do their part. While the constructive engagement of businesses is an important element in reaching an ambitious climate agreement, it is equally important, if not more, to mobilize businesses to ensure that they also do their part in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and transitioning towards a low-carbon economy.

While a lot of the political momentum is being invested in actions that countries will take in the period comprised between 2020 and 2030, we still need to ensure that emissions peak within this decade and rapidly decline thereafter in order to keep good chances of keeping global warming well below 2C compared to pre-industrial temperatures.

How companies are taking action

We believe that the corporate sector can take clear steps towards this low-carbon future and set the ground with concrete and ambitious actions through 2020 and beyond. Through the Science Based Targets initiative and the 3% Solution in the US, WWF has been leading the agenda to drive the adoption of ambitious corporate emission reduction targets in line with the level of decarbonisation required to keep global warming below 2°C and to reap the benefits of a low-carbon transition.

In addition to this, companies are being encouraged to play an active role in the scale-up of renewable energy by committing to 100% renewable power in the context of the RE100 initiative and to support WWF’s Corporate Renewable Energy Buyers’ Principles to help businesses increase the use of renewable energy.

We encourage businesses to get involved in efforts to support ambitious climate policies and to adopt and implement commitments that will get us on track of transitioning towards a low-carbon development pathway.

Alberto Carrillo Pineda is the Head of Climate Business Engagement for WWF’s Global Climate and Energy Initiative and is based in Mexico. acarrillo@wwfmex.org.

Want to get your business on a low-carbon path?

Find out more about WWF Climate Savers and the Science Based Targets initiative.

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