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BSR COP21 Daily Dispatches
 

December 10 / Day 11

Editor’s Note

During an interview I had with a journalist this morning, the reporter noted the significant presence of business at COP this year. He called it a “full-court press.”

He’s right. This year, business leaders from every industry are here advocating for an ambitious Paris Agreement. Even as COP21 has gathered an unprecedented number of heads of state, it’s fair to say it has also gathered an unprecedented number of heads of business. These leaders are already experiencing the effects of climate change on their companies, and they are here to share their commitments and let governments know that they plan to partner with policymakers in implementing the final Paris Agreement.

“At Kellogg, we have seen firsthand how extreme weather can impact the people who grow and supply our ingredients,” Kellogg Company Chairman and CEO John Bryant wrote in a guest editorial for the We Mean Business Bottom Line. At a New York Times dinner Tuesday night, Bryant announced that, by 2050, Kellogg would cut its emissions by 65 percent and help reduce those of its suppliers by 50 percent.

'We didn’t come to Paris to build a ceiling. We came to build a floor.'—U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in his address at COP21. Photo: COP PARIS

“We didn’t come to Paris to build a ceiling. We came to build a floor.”—U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in his address at COP21. Photo: COP PARIS

At the same event, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry—who announced yesterday that the United States will provide US$800 million in climate aid to the world’s poorest countries (subscription required)—noted the importance of the business community. “We are not going to solve this at government level,” Kerry said to an audience of largely businesspeople. “You are going to make the difference.”

One of the reasons we are so optimistic about an ambitious climate agreement this year is because of the strong role of business, which has come to Paris with a set of clear, concrete policy asks designed to maximize ambition, secure a diplomatic agreement, and send the signal that will catalyze private-sector investments in a thriving, clean economy.

As we enter the last few days of negotiations, the BSR climate delegation at COP21 is working hard on three main priorities of business for the final agreement: a long-term goal that sends the policy certainty that business needs, a review mechanism starting in 2020 to ensure that goals are increased every five years to give business the confidence to invest, and a strong financial element that leverages the trillions needed.

We urge business leaders to send this message to their government officials in their national capitals. Together, we can support a successful Paris Agreement.

What's Important Now

Business is asking the French Presidency for its continued leadership of COP21. In particular, business would like the French officials to stay strong in seeking an ambitious climate agreement, which will send a catalytic signal to the real economy. Business also urges the French COP21 leadership to fulfill its promise to “leave nothing behind”—including the long-term goal and the five-year ambition mechanism, starting from 2020 onward.

As the French COP21 Presidency pushes for ambition, business urges all to be “willing to do so.” For business, this means offering ambition through climate commitments, innovation, and the mobilization of private-sector finance. And for other governments this means being willing to find common ground on the remaining crux issues—the long-term goal, the five-year review mechanism starting from 2020 onward, and climate finance.

To ensure an effective outcome in Paris, we all need to do three things. We must secure ambition that is consistent with the scale of the climate challenge. We must secure consensus among the 196 governments negotiating an agreement. And we must secure an agreement that sends a catalytic signal to accelerate the creation of a thriving, clean economy. We cannot sacrifice the integrity of one of these in pursuit of the others.

Edward Cameron


BSR's Climate Insights

  • Why Paris Is Not Another Copenhagen: Read more
  • Let’s Support the COP21 French Presidency and a Strong Paris Agreement: Read more
  • Midsession COP21 Report: What Happened in Week 1, Expectations for Week 2, and How Business Can Act: Read more
  • Business Asks Climate Negotiators for Specific Text in Paris Agreement to Ensure Ambition: Read more
  • For Ambitious Climate Action Before 2020, Business Should Focus on ‘Workstream 2’: Read more

What We're Reading

Read the latest from We Mean Business:

  • Accelerating Transition to Clean Power: Read more
  • Business Leaders Ask for Clear, Long-Term Emissions Goal to be Included in Paris Climate Deal: Read more
  • Chennai Refocuses Paris; Businesses Ready to Invest in Low-Carbon Economy: Read more

And highlights from the latest COP21 media coverage:

  • A New Draft of the Paris Climate Agreement, and What Remains | The New York Times | December 9, 2015: Read more
  • Kerry Promises $800M in Climate Aid for World’s Poorest | Greenwire | December 9, 2015: Read more (subscription required)
  • Business Leaders Commit to Energy Goals at Climate Conference | The New York Times | December 8, 2015: Read more
  • U.S. Republicans Pushed by CEOs in Paris to Shift Climate Stance | Bloomberg | December 8, 2015: Read more
  • COP21 Spotlights Climate Change and Agriculture | General Mills | December 9, 2015: Read more

Events

  • 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 commitments business and investor commitments were announced at COP21, and the media coverage and narrative during the climate talks. For more information, visit: www.bsr.org/en/events/view/road-through-paris-briefing-first-results-from-cop21.


 
 

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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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