COP21 Commences in Paris
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CERES Confirms Business Supports Climate Change Action


By E. Lynn Grayson Paris 2015


CERES is urging world governments meeting now at the COP21 this week in Paris to produce a strong climate agreement. CERES believes that recent actions confirm that the business and financial communities support clean energy and a low-carbon transition. The actions cited by CERES include: 

  1. More than 1600 companies in the U.S. have signed the CERES Climate Declaration calling action on climate change one of the greatest economic opportunities of the 21st century;
  2. Six major banks including Bank of America, Citi, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo have issued statements calling for cooperation of governments in reaching a global climate agreement;
  3. 14 major food and beverage company CEOs including Coca-Cola, General Mills, Unilever, Mars and Nestle USA sent a joint letter to U.S. and world leaders pledging to accelerate their own business action on climate change and urging governments to forge a robust international climate agreement in Paris this month;
  4. 365 companies and investors support EPA’s Clean Power Plan, the biggest carbon reducing measure in the history of the U.S.;
  5. Nearly 350 global institutional investors managing $24 trillion have called on government leaders to establish a meaningful price on carbon and phase out subsidies for fossil fuels; and
  6. Nearly 100 Fortune 500 companies have joined the White House-led American Business Act on Climate Pledge, committing them to reduce their own GHG emissions and boosting their investments in low-carbon energy and technologies.

According to CERES, the business community message to world governments in Paris is clear: As the business and financial communities are stepping up on climate, policymakers should do the same. Learn more about the work of CERES and the efforts undertaken by business and financial entities in its November 2015 newsletter.

The real work of the 150 world leaders meeting in Paris starts today in an effort to produce a landmark agreement to limit rising global temperatures to no more than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels this century. While many expect this important decision will be worked out over the next two weeks, there is much work, negotiation and compromise that must take place to achieve the anticipated successful outcome.

We will continue our special series on important developments at the COP21 Paris climate change discussions over the next two weeks.