Climate Leadership Now: The new bar for business action on climate

Published: 28 Sep 2020
Type: News

Geneva, 24 September 2020 –Today WBCSD as part of the We Mean Business Coalition launched an enhanced call for business action on climate change, redefining what it takes to be a corporate climate leader in this crucial decade.

‘Climate Leadership Now: The new bar for business action on climate change’ outlines the action businesses need to take to be considered credible corporate leaders in the 2020s. It builds on business’ impressive commitment to climate action to date, and makes a clear case for even further action given the severely increasing risks that the changing climate poses to the global economy.

According to the guide, for a business to be considered a leader on climate, it must respond to the climate crisis with ambition, deliver on that ambition with action and speak up to secure wider change through advocacy. 

In doing so, companies can increase their competitiveness and resilience — especially in the context of the economic downturn — and accelerate the transition to a zero-carbon economy that leaves no one behind. The principles outlined in “Climate Leadership Now” include:

  • Aligning corporate ambition with the best available climate science. This entails setting a target to reach net-zero emissions by 2050, at the latest, and setting strong interim targets along the way through the Science Based Targets initiative.
  • Identifying and implementing action that will enable companies to deliver on their ambition including engaging with their supply chain. Companies need to be transparent about progress toward goals through disclosure and reporting.
  • Advocating for climate action at all levels — through corporate lobbying efforts, industry peers and trade groups.

This guide sets out the characteristics that all well-run companies will need to adopt to progress in key climate action areas. It explains the frontiers of leadership that the most ambitious companies are currently exploring. It sets out how companies will need to demonstrate accountability and provides a checklist of steps for how companies can show climate leadership.

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