Global leaders convened at the United Nations’ COP22 in Marrakech, Morocco, this week to discuss climate change and the implementation of the Paris Agreement. But it’s not just global leaders that want to see action on climate change, business leaders are increasingly taking action on climate change and pushing political leaders to do so, too.
At a side event sponsored by the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES), 11 major corporations with major operations in the US along with over 150 US corporations, reiterated commitments to the Paris Agreement. The companies have signed a pledge to continue to work with governments and invest to reduce carbon emissions worldwide.
The event, co-sponsored by Edison Electric Institute, featured senior representatives from Mars, Royal Dutch Shell, Berkshire Hathaway Energy, Ingersoll Rand and Microsoft, along with many others. “These targets, these programs, these goals need to transcend individual leaders, be they in government or in corporations. We’re solving long-term problems. We need to put structures and systems in place that are consistent and durable,” said Kevin Rabinovitch, global sustainability director at Mars.
In the statement, the companies articulated that they are “Committed to working on our own and in partnership with governments to mobilize the technology, investment and innovation needed to transition to a sustainable low-carbon economy.” In addition, the statement explained that they support the Paris Agreement, which facilitates stronger action by providing long-term direction, transparency, competitiveness and regulates carbon pricing.
With billions of dollar invested into clean energy by large corporations, there is a substantial amount of anxiety as to what kind of energy policies will be enacted after President-elect Donald Trump transitions into the Oval Office. The letter, signed by these companies and supported by hundreds of other US companies, shows a vast corporate support for the Paris Agreement and that companies are going to stand up for its defense for practical reasons.
“You’re now looking at decades of investment. Businesses are not going to walk away from this,” said Nanette Lockwood, Global Director, Policy and Advocacy at Ingersoll Rand. “Once we set a direction and we create value and markets, we continue down that path.”
During his remarks at COP22, US Secretary of State John Kerry also reassured the world that the US will live up to its commitments under the Paris Climate Accord. Kerry highlighted progress the US and companies have made under President Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan and how cooperative federal and state policies have allowed the expansion of renewable energy sources like solar and wind. He also attributed the ratification of the Paris Agreement by the US and China and further cooperative efforts throughout the international community as significant benchmarks to battle climate change.Tweet