WBCSD releases key policy asks from business ahead of COP25 in Madrid

Published: 19 Nov 2019
Type: News

Geneva, 18 November 2019: A couple of weeks ahead of the opening of COP25 in Madrid, Spain (2-13 December), the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) released key policy recommendations for COP25 negotiators.

The IPCC’s Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C published in October 2018, sent a clear signal: the impacts of allowing global warming to reach 2°C above pre-industrial levels are far greater and more catastrophic than 1.5°C – which we’re set to surpass as early as 2040. The report states that, while a 1.5°C world is still possible, it will require radical and urgent transformation of all economic systems at an unprecedented scale.

This will imply urgent advancements towards zero-carbon power, transport, and built environment systems, and a land system that can feed the planet while protecting vital ecosystems and removing pressure from wild habitats and biodiversity. This transition to a resilient, zero-carbon future can deliver huge benefits for our economies, society and nature.

Maria Mendiluce, WBCSD’s Managing Director for Climate & Energy, Circular Economy and Cities & Mobility said “The science is clear: we must accelerate systems transformation at scale to stay within the safe operating space of 1.5 degrees. There is no more time to lose. WBCSD and its member companies are calling on governments to adopt commitments aligned with 1.5 degrees and net-zero global emissions by 2050, including wide-reaching measures to put a price on carbon, ensure a just transition and build resilience to the impacts of climate change.”

The following policy asks are aimed at COP negotiators on behalf of WBCSD’s almost 200 member companies. They focus on what is needed from climate negotiations next month at COP25 to put us on track towards achieving the Paris Agreement objectives.

  1.      Stepping up ambition towards 1.5°C and a Net-Zero global economy
  2.      Business taking leadership action
  3.      Carbon pricing and the Article 6 mechanisms
  4.      Resilience
  5.      Finance
  6.      Just transition
  7.      Nature

1.      Stepping up ambition towards 1.5°C and a Net-Zero global economy

We strongly urge countries to strengthen their climate action and increase their national commitments to secure global net zero emissions as early as possible in the second half of the century and create climate-resilient societies. Developed economies, whose leadership is essential, should put in place plans to achieve this by 2050 at the latest.

In this crucial year for climate action, WBCSD and its member companies call on governments to show their commitment to climate action and the Paris Agreement by announcing clearly their intention to strengthen Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) 2025 and 2030 targets, and to develop or update clear long-term low greenhouse gas emission development strategies (LTS) compatible with a 1.5°C pathway and net zero emissions by 2050.

 2.      Business taking leadership action

Leading businesses across the world are taking ambitious climate commitments within their operations, and across their value chains aligned with 1.5°C and the ambition of achieving a Net-Zero global economy.

Together, leading businesses and governments can work together to create positively reinforcing loops of climate ambition with strong ambitious government policies that give clarity and confidence to business to invest decisively in zero-carbon products, services and solutions. These ambition loops accelerate the transition to a zero-carbon world.

 3.      Carbon pricing and the Article 6 mechanisms

Carbon pricing is one of the most effective and cost-efficient means of driving deep decarbonization pathways across economies. WBCSD and its member companies believe that carbon pricing mechanisms are critical to support the urgent efforts required to drive the transition towards a low carbon future and achieving the 1.5°C goal.

We believe that effective carbon pricing policies that ensure environmental integrity are a low-cost means to achieve deep emission reductions while maintaining competitiveness, creating jobs, encouraging innovation, enabling investment, creating value to solutions and minimizing social costs. These solutions do so by correcting the current issues in applying the polluter pays principle to address climate change, thus internalizing the costs of carbon pollution in prices. Combined with other direct policy interventions, carbon pricing can ensure a smooth transition to a low-carbon economy.

 4.      Resilience

While increasing mitigation ambition is critical to hold global warming to 1.5°C, we must build resilience to the climate impacts we cannot avoid. Companies are building resilience strategies to address climate risks, integrating them into risk management practices, business continuity plans, and growth and investment plans. We call on governments worldwide to build resilience to climate impacts for vital communities that support value chains across the globe.

 5.      Finance

To enable the accelerated transition to a zero-carbon economy, markets need full information on climate risks and opportunities, and clear pricing signals and policies to enable global financial flows to urgently shift towards investments in innovation and technology aimed at achieving net-zero economy as soon as possible.

 6.      Just transition

We call on governments to support an economy-wide just transition to net-zero emissions through instigating social dialogue with businesses, workers and communities to ensure decent jobs meet high labor standards, and by integrating measures outlined in the Solidarity and Just Transition Silesia Declaration into NDCs and national climate and energy plans.

 7.      Nature

Our forests, grasslands and wetlands are able to sequester and store carbon providing a unique opportunity to help global warming stay within a 1.5 degrees limit. But efforts to tackle these issues are still fragmented. There is a lack of urgency and a need for more coordinated and coherent policymaking.

For more detailed information about WBCSD’s policy asks ahead of COP25, please download the PDF here.

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