By Theophilus Ikpome
We Mean Business, a coalition of organizations working with businesses and investors to accelerate the global transition to a low-carbon economy, issued a call to the Geneva Climate Change Conference. Describing bold climate action as an historic economic opportunity, the coalition calls on governments to include in the negotiating text of the 2015 agreement a commitment to net-zero emissions by the end of the century.
The eighth part of the second session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP 2-8) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), taking place from 8-13 February 2015, in Geneva, Switzerland, is expected to make available a negotiating text for a protocol, another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force under the Convention applicable to all parties.
With an eye on the goal of the Geneva session, the coalition outlines three key “business asks,” calling for the negotiators to “maintain a laser-like focus on” keeping global mean temperature rises below 2°C compared to pre-industrial levels, which requires an effective enabling environment for low-carbon growth with different timeframes.
Firstly, in the short term, the coalition calls for policy makers to invest “political capital” in the ADP’s workstream 2 (pre-2020 ambition), which provides a tangible way for public-private cooperation and can make significant contributions to climate stabilization.
As the medium-term goal, the coalition outlines the need for governments to finalize the elements of the 2015 climate agreement, which should include as key components: emissions reductions contributions from all countries captured in intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs); new and additional scalable climate finance from both public and private sources for low-carbon technology development and deployment; enhanced transparency and accountability mechanisms for comparability and catalyzing a “race to the top”; and five-year commitment periods to enable progressive increases in ambition in line with climate science.
In the long term, the business coalition stresses the importance of a long-term decarbonisation pathway to support innovation by businesses. It calls for governments to ensure that a net-zero emissions well before the end of the century is part of the negotiating text coming out of Geneva.
The We Mean Business coalition works with thousands of businesses and investors globally that seek to accelerate the transition into a low-carbon economy and secure sustainable economic growth and prosperity through catalyzing climate action by all and promoting smart policy frameworks.