Karuizawa, Japan, 15 June 2019 - At the invitation of the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), WBCSD’s President and CEO Peter Bakker delivered a keynote speech at the G20 Ministerial Meeting on Energy Transitions and Global Environment for Sustainable Growth that took place on 15 June in Karuizawa, Japan.
The focus of the speech was on the critical role of business leadership in realizing the ambitions of the Paris Climate Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – two powerful frameworks that seek to mobilize action around some of the most urgent environmental and social challenges facing the world today. It also pointed to a clear virtuous cycle between sustainable business practices and economic growth, underlining how companies that are able to develop sustainable and inclusive products and services stand to unlock potentially historic market opportunities in the years ahead.
Peter Bakker said: “It is important for all of us to work together to ensure that we are doing all we can to enable the virtuous cycle between sustainable business solutions and economic growth and that ultimately we are creating a business environment where sustainable businesses are more successful – meaning an economy where more sustainable products and assets will attract the lowest cost of capital.”
Bakker pointed to the need for transformation across a number of key economic systems such as energy, food and land use, mobility, and urban development, while also emphasizing how transforming the financial system sits at the heart of many of these transitions. In this context he pointed to the work of the Task force for Climate related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) as an important catalyst.
It was noted that although the recently published TCFD status report shows a steady increase in TCFD adoption with nearly 800 organizations having now expressed support for the TCFD and its recommendations, this increase is still insufficient. Bakker stated: “There is work to do in terms of ensuring that the recommendations are broadly realized. This requires a sector approach and the involvement of regulators and capital markets. Not tomorrow but now.”
In this context, Bakker also welcomed the leadership shown by the Japanese government in terms of promoting this agenda and issuing guidance to support Japanese industry.
Later this year, on 8 October in Tokyo, WBCSD and METI will work together to convene the first ever TCFD Summit, providing an important forum for industrial and financial communities to come together to advance the TCFD’s recommendations.
This Ministerial Meeting was one of eight ministerial meetings taking place in Japan alongside the 2019 G20 Summit. This Karuizawa meeting marked the first time Energy and Environment Ministers were meeting jointly in the G20 context. The outcome documents of the meeting can be found here.
For more information about WBCSD’s presence, please have a look at the highlight video.
For more information, please contact Lara Luten.