WBCSD Presents Climate Change Target and Innovative Business Solutions at COP 19

Today at the Warsaw Climate Change Conference (COP 19), the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) will present societal targets and an initial set of innovative business solutions aimed at addressing climate change challenges.

Warsaw, 18 November  2013 – At the WBCSD’s annual Business Day event at the Warsaw Marriott, high-level participants from governments, the private sector and NGOs will learn about the climate change business solutions the WBCSD has developed with its members, as a core priority area in its new Action2020 framework. This science-based action plan seeks to engage companies to implement innovative and scalable business solutions and improve the business case for sustainability. The Action2020 framework has been developed by the WBCSD in close cooperation with the Stockholm Resilience Center and the World Resource Institute.

Read more on the WBCSD’s Business Day at COP19

Included in the WBCSD’s Action2020 plan is a set of societal ‘Must-Have’ targets.

For the first time, global business has agreed on a societal ‘Must-Have’ target for climate change, stating:

“With the goal of limiting global temperature rise to 2°C above pre-industrial levels, the world must, by 2020, have energy, industry, agriculture and forestry systems that, simultaneously, are:

  • Meeting societal development needs;
  • Implementing the necessary structural transformation to ensure that cumulative net emissions[1]do not exceed one trillion tonnes of carbon (peaking global emissions by 2020 keeps this goal in a feasible range);
  • Becoming resilient to expected changes in climate.”

To reach this climate change societal ‘Must-Have’ by 2020 and beyond, a large group of WBCSD member companies have developed an initial set of impactful business solutions that are measurable, scalable, replicable, and beyond business as usual.

These business solutions include:

  • Forests as carbon sinks;
  • Carbon capture and storage;
  • Electrifying cities towards zero emissions;
  • Low-carbon electrification of remote areas;
  • Building resilience across global interdependent supply chains.

Further business solutions to address Action2020’s climate change societal ‘Must-have’-- especially in the area of renewable energies and energy efficiency-- are in the works, and more WBCSD member companies are expected to develop these new solutions in the coming months and year ahead. The WBCSD will actively seek collaboration with other initiatives to create a broad business-led movement to scale up solutions.

“Together, the Action2020 societal target and business solutions provide companies with a comprehensive, first-of-its-kind roadmap to significantly scale up impactful actions to address climate change. The climate change ‘Must-Have’ represents the global target we need to meet to achieve a sustainable future for business, societies and the environment. This target can only be met if business, government and society work together. Scaling up solutions fast, by business is the key objective of Action2020, and collaboration is a critical element,” says WBCSD President Peter Bakker.

WBCSD’s overall message to COP19 negotiators

A post-2020 climate change agreement can play a fundamental role in the scalability of the WBCSD Action2020 climate change business solutions. WBCSD members support a post-2020 agreement that addresses climate change with the urgency and scale indicated clearly by the IPCC AR5 report. The agreement should:

  • Commit all countries to deliver emissions cuts consistent with limiting global temperature rise to 2 C while respecting their national circumstances;
  • Induce actions, recognising‘bottom-up’as well as ‘top-down’action, starting now –rather than waiting for 2020;
  • Deliver a stable, predictable, simple and transparent framework that supports innovation and investment, including market signals and coherent, harmonised regulations.

Read the WBCSD’s full list of recommendations to COP 19 negotiators