In an open letter
released on Thursday evening, 43 chief executive officers from leading global companies called on governments around the world to take bold action at the pivotal UN climate meeting set for later this year. The CEOs are listed in a full-page ad appearing in Friday’s issue of Financial Times (see image below), in conjunction with the spring meetings of the World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund. The signatories to the letter include David Kenny, chairman and CEO of The Weather Company, the umbrella organization that includes Weather Underground. “Climate change is one of the biggest global challenges that will shape the way we do business now and in the coming decades,” the CEOs stated. “We extend an open offer to national governments to meet and co-design tangible actions as well as ambitious, effective targets that are appropriate for their different jurisdictions.”Looking toward a post-Kyoto climate deal
Representatives from around the world will meet in Paris this December for the 21st UN Conference of Parties (COP21
), a product of the 1992 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change
that was signed by U.S. President George Bush and the heads of 164 other nations. Delegates in Paris will be working toward a new global agreement on carbon emissions to succeed the Kyoto Protocol
, whose initial phase expired in 2012. The CEOs’ open letter outlines their shared vision for a successful climate deal at COP21, as well as their companies’ commitments to reduce their environmental and carbon footprints, serve as climate action ambassadors, manage climate risks, and help strengthen societal resilience to climate change.
The coalition of CEOs is facilitated by the World Economic Forum, the Swiss nonprofit organization that holds a high-profile annual meeting in Davos each year. The 43 companies involved in the coalition represent more than $1.2 trillion in revenue earned in 2014 from operations in more than 150 countries and territories.
“Hastening the shift to a low-carbon economy in an economically sustainable manner will generate growth and jobs in both the developing and developed world. Delaying action is not an option--it will be costly and will damage growth prospects in the years to come,” states the open letter. “The CEO Climate Leaders call on government leaders and policy makers to align on global measures, to be consistent in policy-making and to develop helpful innovation frameworks. A comprehensive, inclusive and ambitious climate deal in Paris on mitigation, adaptation and finance--in combination with a strong set of clear policy signals from the world’s leaders--is key to accelerating this transition. This opportunity should not be missed.”Weather Underground’s position on climate change
“Based on the evidence, more than 97% of climate scientists have concluded that human-caused climate change is happening. Climate change is already causing significant impacts to people and ecosystems, and these impacts will grow much more severe in the coming years. We can choose to take economically sensible steps to lessen the damage of climate change, and the cost of inaction is much higher than the cost of action.”
See our recent blog posts for more on global climate in 2014
--the warmest year on record--and what the next few years may bring
Jeff Masters and Bob Henson