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BSR COP21 Daily Dispatches

December 8 / Day 9

Editor’s Note

It’s week two of COP21, when the rubber really hits the road. As the government ministers hammer out the final text, business has an important role to play in ensuring the climate talks end with an ambitious Paris Agreement that guarantees a transition to a thriving, clean economy.

World leaders convene all in one room at COP21 to work toward collaboration on global climate action.

Solutions COP21 is an exhibition held in conjunction with the climate talks that showcases concrete climate solutions from business, researchers, artists, and more. Photo: Eva Dienel

For those in the business community, there are three things you can do right now to influence the negotiations:

  1. Make it clear to the government officials in your nation’s capital that business wants an ambitious Paris Agreement. As a business leader, the most powerful thing you can do is speak to your own government—not just at COP, but at your national capital. Sending this message to your own domestic government will contradict the notion that a Paris Agreement will undermine competitiveness. If their own companies are saying a Paris Agreement would boost competitiveness, that provides governments with confidence to make the deal.
  2. Let government know that your company plans to implement the Paris Agreement. Governments are more likely to reach an agreement in Paris if they know business will help drive emissions reductions, enhance adaptive capacity, and facilitate equitable access to sustainable development. Make clear how your business plans to mobilize finance through corporate procurement and investments and direct research and development, and by providing access to goods and services consistent with a low-carbon economy.
  3. Continue to act on climate. We Mean Business provides a forum for action on issues ranging from deforestation to renewable energy to carbon pricing to short-lived climate pollutants. By taking ambitious actions to address global warming, your company will not only be more competitive and climate-friendly, it will increase your credibility in advocating for an enabling policy framework.

Read our analysis of week one and priorities for week two in our latest blog.

What's Important Now

  1. We need developed countries to honor their promises, particularly on climate finance.
  2. Words matter, but numbers matter more. In the absence of agreed-upon language on the long-term goal, it’s important to pay attention to numbers and dates, like zero emissions well before the end of the century.
  3. In order to cut greenhouse gas emissions and make the transition to a thriving, clean global economy, business needs the clarity of a long-term goal to know where we are going—and by when.
  4. Business needs governments to strengthen their commitments every five years, starting in 2020. This will ensure that governments keep pace with private-sector innovation, stimulate increased private-sector ambition, and progressively realize the transformation of the global economy.
  5. A clear trajectory will allow business and investors to unlock trillions of dollars of new investments and the innovative technologies that will enhance competitiveness and drive equitable access to sustainable development.
  6. The Paris Agreement is more than a diplomatic settlement among nations. It is a stimulus to the real economy, with the potential to generate trillions of dollars of investments in clean energy, food security, enhanced mobility, and livelihood creation. We urge ministers arriving in Paris to find the common ground to conclude the agreement—with the promise that business and investors will be implementation partners.

Edward Cameron

BSR's Climate Insights

  • Midsession COP21 Report: What Happened in Week 1, Expectations for Week 2, and How Business Can Act: Read more
  • For Ambitious Climate Action Before 2020, Business Should Focus on ‘Workstream 2’: Read more
  • Climate Change and Agriculture: Connecting Global Warming to Business Resilience: Read more
  • Addressing Climate Change Through Technology: Read more
  • Working with Tech Leaders to Power the Internet with 100 Percent Renewable Energy: Read more

What We're Reading

Read the latest We Mean Business blogs:

  • Morocco and California Showing the Way on Global Low-Carbon Future: Read more
  • The Pathways to Carbon Pricing: Read more
  • The We Mean Business “Business Brief”: Read more

And some recent media coverage related to business at COP21:

  • Progressive Paris Agreement Will Unlock Green Funds, Says We Mean Business Coalition | The Hindu | December 7, 2015: Read more
  • CNN's Maggie Lake Discusses the Variety of Businesses Involved at COP21 with Nigel Topping, CEO of We Mean Business | CNN | December 7, 2015: Read more (video)
  • Financial Industry Faces Daunting Transformation for Climate Deal to Succeed | InsideClimate News | December 4, 2015: Read more
  • Coalition of Business Leaders Challenges 2C Climate Change Target | The Guardian | December 6, 2015: Read more
  • COP21: Business Seeks Global Carbon Pricing at Climate Summit | The Financial Times | December 6, 2015: Read more (subscription required)


  • December 8, 11:45 a.m.-12:40 p.m., at the Stade de France

    BSR President and CEO Aron Cramer will speak during the “Innovation for Business Advantage” session at the UNEP-Climate Action’s Sustainable Innovation Forum. For more information about the two-day event, visit www.cop21paris.org.

  • December 9, 6:30-8 p.m., Observer Room 12 at the Conference Center (Blue Zone) at Le Bourget

    BSR Managing Director Partnership Development and Research Edward Cameron will speak at the UNEP-Climate and Clean Air Coalition’s official side event, “Short-Lived Climate Pollutants,” which will highlight how reducing these emissions can result in economic, development, and health benefits. This event is open to anyone who has a badge for the Blue Zone.

  • December 16, 8-9 a.m. PST: “Road Through Paris Briefing: First Results from COP” webinar

    Join this webinar to hear from BSR’s COP21 delegation on initial takeaways from Paris, including insights on the diplomatic agreement, what the agreement means for business, what kind of business and investor commitments were announced at COP21, and the media coverage and narrative during the climate talks. To register, visit: www.bsr.org/en/events/view/road-through-paris-briefing-first-results-from-cop21.


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Business in a Climate-Constrained World

BSR’s “Business in a Climate-Constrained World” strategy catalyzes private-sector action on climate resilience in two ways: by helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions consistent with holding global mean temperature rises to less than 2°C above pre-industrial levels and by enhancing adaptive capacity in the face of inevitable climate impacts.


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About BSR

BSR is a global nonprofit organization that works with its network of more than 250 member companies to build a just and sustainable world. From its offices in Asia, Europe, and North America, BSR develops sustainable business strategies and solutions through consulting, research, and cross-sector collaboration. Visit www.bsr.org for more information about BSR’s more than 20 years of leadership in sustainability.

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