Shell and Unilever lead business call for 1 trillion tonne emissions cap


Leading global companies including Royal Dutch Shell, Unilever, BT and Adidas have called on governments to cap cumulative carbon emissions below 1 trillion metric tonnes, in a bid to contain rising temperatures. Over 70 companies from across five continents – accounting for a combined turnover of $90 billion – have signed the ‘Trillion Tonne Communiqué’, representing a growing call from businesses for governments to tackle climate change. They are demanding a “rapid and focused response” to the threat of rising carbon emissions and the “disruptive climate impacts” associated with their growth. The report coincides with negotiations on the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change whose scientists have previously warned the world needs to limit its cumulative carbon emissions to a trillion tonnes to stay below governments’ internationally agreed threshold of a 2ºC temperature rise. Over half of this has already been emitted and, at current rates, the world is on course to pass the trillion tonne mark in less than 30 years, with potentially devastating climate impacts. The Communiqué wants governments to set a timeline for achieving net zero emissions before the end of the century and to ensure the UN climate conference in Paris in 2015 does not end up a missed opportunity in realising this goal. Talking in London yesterday, Unilever CEO, Paul Polman insisted that tackling climate change will deliver “a better future for us all“.


MT @CFigueres Major biz momentum for #Paris2015: 70 companies urge gvts to cap emissions




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Key Quotes

  • “This communiqué sends a clear message from business at a critical time, when events in the Ukraine have refocused global attention on energy security, and just as the scientific consensus reminds us all of the imperative of collective action.” – Eliot Whittington, Deputy Director of The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group
  • “Our energy system is not fit for purpose. Governments need to do much more to incentivise and reward investment in low-carbon technology, as well as to encourage energy and resource efficiency. Businesses cannot act alone: they need clear  regulatory frameworks to provide certainty and help them drive transformation towards a more energy secure future.” – Sir Ian Cheshire, Group Chief Executive, Kingfisher plc
  • “The threat of climate change is real and urgent. To curb emissions we need to work together. From a business point of view it is already a competitive advantage to be a leader in green but governments can speed up the progress substantially by setting up a level playing field that rewards the leaders in low carbon technology and energy efficiency.” – Johan Karlström, CEO of Skanska AB
  • “We need to get beyond the concept that progressive climate change policy is bad for business: it can be a huge driver of innovation and create opportunities for growth and prosperity. Conversely, there isn’t an organisation I know of which isn’t already being impacted by climate change at some level. Collective responsibility across governments, business and civic society is vital to ensure the world is on track for net zero emissions before the end of the century.” – Niall Dunne, Chief Sustainability Officer at BT
  • “For large coal exporting nations like Australia, carbon capture and storage is not only important for environmental reasons but also is critical for the competitiveness of some of our leading companies and the sustainability of our economy for the long term.” – Nigel Lake, Joint CEO of Australian-based global advisory firm Pottinger

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  • MT @StollmeyerEU Global business giants urge #climate action: net zero emissions! #TrillionTonne #IPCC #Paris2015
  • RT @bluNiall Corporate giants #TrillionTonne Communiqué’ issues fresh demand for climate action