By Jaya Ramachandran
BONN (IDN) – Over 700 leading businesses around the world, together representing 2.62 gigatons of emissions equivalent to the total annual emissions of India, have made strategic climate commitments through the ‘We Mean Business’ coalition’s Take Action campaign.
Organizers of the Global Climate Action Summit (GCAS) to be held in San Francisco from September 12-14, 2018 have provided new evidence of how cities, states, regions, businesses and investors are taking climate ambition to the next level. In doing so, they are helping to build momentum for a successful outcome for the UN Climate Change Conference in Katowice, Poland (COP24) from December 3-14.
The GCAS organizers refer specifically to 11 new commitments from Mahindra, among India’s largest business houses, that have pushed the number of major global companies with science-based targets to over 400,
The summit in San Francisco will be hosted by the Governor of California, Jerry Brown; the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Climate Action, Michael Bloomberg; the Chairman of the Mahindra Group, Anand Mahindra; and the Executive Secretary of UN Climate Change, Patricia Espinosa.
Speaking to delegates and journalists on the margins of the UN Climate Change Conference concluding in Bonn on May 10, Anirban Ghosh, Chief Sustainability Officer of the Mahindra Group announced that business had taken an important step forwards.
In total, 13 of its companies have now committed to cut their emissions in line with the Paris Climate Change Agreement goals by signing-up to a science-based target.
The Agreement aims at keeping warming well below 2 degrees C, and ideally 1.5 degrees C – temperatures that could lead to catastrophic consequences – worldwide emissions must start trending down by 2020.
Welcoming the notable steps taken by businesses around the world, Summit Co-Chair and top UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa said: “At COP24 in Katowice, the world has much to accomplish to ensure that the Paris Agreement delivers the desired result, which is to keep climate change within manageable limits. Thankfully, the revolutionary progress underway in the ‘real world’ economy, which will descend on California in September, will be instrumental to helping make Poland a success.”
The announcement by the Mahindra Group responds to one of the five ‘Summit Challenges’ being presented to sub-national governments, business and civil society worldwide in advance of the San Francisco Summit.
Its commitment falls under the second of the five challenges – Inclusive Economic Growth – and means that so far 400 companies have positively reacted to this particular “call to action,” which aims to sign on 500 companies by the conclusion of GCAS in September.
Anand Mahindra, Mahindra Group Chairman said: “There is remarkable congruity between the goals of the Paris Agreement, the Indian Government, and businesses like the Mahindra Group. India, like the Agreement, is driven by a strong belief at the highest political level that pursuing environmental stability is the only way forward.”
As a result, said Mahindra, India has set extremely ambitious targets in the area of renewable resources and is actually ahead of schedule in meeting some of these. “In my business, we are driven by the belief that sustainability is a business opportunity as well as a way to make work meaningful for our young millennials. So, from all angles, I am delighted to accelerate the momentum created by the Paris Agreement,” the Mahindra Group Chairman added.
In addition to adding critical momentum to the COP24 negotiations in Poland this December, when governments of the world will meet to signal their readiness to enhance ambition, the GCAS will build momentum for a strong outcome at the Climate Summit convened by UN Secretary-General António Guterres in 2019 and to elevate climate action plans – Nationally Determined Contributions, or NDCs – by 2020.
Nick Nuttall, Global Climate Action Summit Communications Director said: “2018 is the year when the world must step up climate action to bend down emissions by 2020 – and set the stage for the fast and full implementation of the Paris Climate Change Agreement and its crucial temperature goal.”
The Summit will showcase climate action around the world, along with bold new commitments, to give world leaders the confidence they can go even further by 2020.
The Summit’s five headline challenge areas are Healthy Energy Systems; Inclusive Economic Growth; Sustainable Communities; Land Stewardship and Transformative Climate Investments
A series of reports are set to be launched over the coming months and at the Summit underlining the contribution of states and regions, cities, businesses, investors and civil society, also known as “non-party stakeholders” to national and international efforts to address climate change.
Many partners are supporting the Summit and the mobilization in advance including Climate Group; the Global Covenant of Mayors; the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group; BSR; We Mean Business; CDP, formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project; the World Wide Fund for Nature; and Mission 2020. [IDN-InDepthNews – 07 May 2018]
Photo (left to right): UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa; Anirban Ghosh, Chief Sustainability Officer of the Mahindra Group; and Nick Nuttall, Global Climate Action Summit Communications Director. Credit: UNFCCC
IDN is flagship agency of the International Press Syndicate.
facebook.com/IDN.GoingDeeper – twitter.com/InDepthNews