Businesses Announce Commitments Ahead of Global Climate Action Summit
Photo by IISD/ENB | Kiara Worth
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The Mahindra Group’s announcement pushes the number of global companies taking on such targets to over 400.

Christiana Figueres, former UNFCCC Executive Secretary urged the global technology sector to pledge to halve their emissions every decade to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

The Global Climate Action Summit will bring together sub-national governments, business and civil society to showcase climate action around the world, along with new commitments.

2 May 2018: Businesses are continuing to announce climate commitments in advance of the Global Climate Action Summit (GCAS), which will convene from 12-14 September 2018 in San Francisco, US. The Mahindra Group, an Indian multinational conglomerate, announced that 11 more of its companies will adopt science-based targets to cut their emissions in line with the Paris Agreement on climate change.

The Mahindra Group’s announcement pushes the number of global companies taking on such targets to over 400.

Speaking during a press briefing on the sidelines of the UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany, which is meeting through 10 May, Anirban Ghosh, Mahindra Group, said that 13 of its companies have now signaled they will adopt science-based targets. This, he noted, is becoming “mainstream business practice” as more companies recognize that transitioning to a low-carbon economy is a business opportunity as well as the only way to ensure sustainability.

The five GCAS “Summit Challenges” are healthy energy systems, inclusive economic growth, sustainable communities, land stewardship and transformative climate investments.

UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa said “the revolutionary progress underway” on the ground will be instrumental to helping make the 24th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 24) to the UNFCCC a success. Nick Nuttall, GCAS Communications Director, underscored that 2018 is the year when the world “must step up climate action to bend down emissions by 2020.” He said the Summit will serve as a “launch-pad” to inspire the higher ambition required to meet the Paris Agreement’s goals.

In another push to get more companies to address climate change in advance of the GCAS, Christiana Figueres, former UNFCCC Executive Secretary and convener of Mission 2020, an initiative that aims to ensure the world bends the emissions curve by 2020, urged the global technology sector to step up climate action by pledging to halve their emissions every decade to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. Making this call during Collision 2018, a technology conference with almost 20,000 attendees that met in New Orleans, US, from 30 April to 3 May, Figueres encouraged companies to report annually on their progress and to focus “their creativity, products and influence” to help governments, other industrial sectors and consumers in their efforts to address climate change.

The GCAS will bring together sub-national governments, business and civil society to showcase climate action around the world, along with new commitments. The five “Summit Challenges” presented to non-Party stakeholders are healthy energy systems, inclusive economic growth, sustainable communities, land stewardship and transformative climate investments.

The Summit aims to help: build momentum for a successful outcome at COP 24 in Katowice, Poland, in December, when a “rulebook” for the Paris Agreement is expected to be adopted; contribute to a strong outcome at the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Summit in 2019; and elevate Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) by 2020. California Governor Jerry Brown is hosting the Summit and is one of its Co-Chairs along with the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Climate Action Michael Bloomberg, Mahindra Group Chairman Anand Mahindra and UNFCCC Executive Secretary Espinosa. [UNFCCC Press Release] [GCAS News Story on Mahindra Announcement] [GCAS News Story on Figueres Statement] [Global Climate Action Summit Website] [Science-based Targets Website]


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