Un Global Compact Business Ambition For Climate Action
While the world continues to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, the impacts of climate change increase and, as Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary-General and Chair of the Board of the United Nations Global Compact, mentioned at the Opening remarks of COP26, it has now been six years since the Paris Agreement, the six hottest years on record.
The 2021 Emissions Gap Report shows us that with the current NDCs – Nationally Determined Contributions – we are moving towards an increase of temperature of 2.7ºC by the end of the century. A trajectory that requires an immediate action by all of us.
The leadership of the business sector is, then, fundamental to deal with the climate emergency and to accelerate the transition to a carbon neutral economy. Companies, around the world, are scaling innovative solutions and presenting solid plans for an urgent action that is aligned with the target of 1.5ºC and with the carbon neutrality.
Taking place during the high-level week of COP26, the UN Global Compact Business Ambition for Climate Action counted with the Opening Remarks of the UN Secretary-General António Guterres and the participation of Heads of State, CEOs, sustainability experts, UN representatives and civil society organizations to jointly present concrete actions for a carbon-neutral economy and highlight strategies to unlock climate finance for a fair recovery. The initiative featured plenary sessions, including the High-Level Meeting Caring for Climate live from COP26, but also thematic sessions and exclusive networking opportunities.
HIGH-LEVEL MEETING CARING FOR CLIMATE
The 9th High-Level Meeting Caring for Climate, co-promoted by UN Global Compact, UN Environment Programme and UN Climate Change, aimed to deliver a business message of strong climate ambition, based on finance, resilience and just transition for all sectors. The executive leaders, representing initiatives such as Race to Zero, Business Ambition for 1.5ºC, Race to Resilience and Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero, lead the dialogue around the great challenges of the moment and presented commitments focused on the two major crises of today: COVID-19 and the climate emergency.
LEVERAGING THE POWER OF CFOs TO UNLOCK CLIMATE-FINANCE
Climate finance is now central to the fight against climate change. According to the Paris Agreement and the UN 2030 Agenda, financial institutions have the power to make a difference, directing capital to the decarbonization of the economy, and it is increasingly essential that banks, insurers and asset managers align their portfolios with 1.5ºC, transferring financing to sustainable companies and raising the bar for issuers to reduce their environmental impact.
The role of Chief Financial Officers is, therefore, critical in this regard, which is why the UN Global Compact, through the CFO Taskforce for the SDGs, brings together 60 CFOs and multiple players in the finance and investment industry, committed to implementing the SDGs in their companies' financial strategy and practices.
FROM AMBITION TO ACTION - HIGHLIGHTS FROM TWO YEARS OF BUSINESS AMBITION FOR 1.5°C
With more than 1000 companies signing up, the Business Ambition for 1.5ºC - a worldwide campaign led by the Science Based Targets initiative - is today the largest group of companies committed to climate action towards 1.5ºC and decarbonization. A success that reflects the importance and urgency of climate science, which led SBTi to announce, on October 28, the first Net-Zero Standard.
This session highlighted the progress and leadership of companies that have made the 1.5ºC commitment, showcased the success of the Business Ambition for 1.5ºC campaign, and explained what is needed in the coming years to fully decarbonize by 2050 and keep global warming to 1.5ºC.