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Business Climate Action

Business Climate Action 17 October 2019

Corporate Action on Climate Change Has to Include Lobbying (via Harvard Business Review)

 By Andrew Winston

The business world has recently started acting on climate change in earnest. Hundreds of the world’s largest companies have agreed to use 100% renewable energy and set targets that commit them to reduce emissions at the pace that science demands. Companies are buying many gigawatts of renewable energy, slashing their own energy use, and innovating to create products that help customers reduce their emissions.

But it’s not nearly enough.

The climate crisis is upon us, and there’s no time to wait for voluntary corporate action to tackle the challenge. We need the collective will that government provides. Many in business will rebel against this idea, but we are long past the point where free markets alone could solve the challenge in time (if such a possibility ever even existed). Business needs to, in the words of Environmental Defense Fund president Fred Krupp, “unleash the most powerful tool they have to fight climate change: their political influence.”

This is the logic and imperative behind an announcement today from 11 environmental and sustainability organizations that have significant influence on the world’s largest companies and on policymakers. Using a full–page ad in The New York Times, the group is calling for business to advocate for policies, at all levels of government, that are consistent with what climate science is telling us we need to do — what they’re calling a “science–based climate policy agenda.” The statement also calls for companies to adjust their trade associations’ advocacy to align with climate science. (The signatories are the heads of BSR, C2ES, CDP, Ceres, Conservation International, Environmental Defense Fund, The Climate Group, The Nature Conservancy, the Union of Concerned Scientists, World Resources Institute, and WWF U.S.)

In support of this public plea, the Sustainable Food Policy Alliance — which includes food and consumer products giants Nestle, Unilever, Mars, and Danone — is running the same letter in Roll Call with the message “we agree.” The new statement is also building on a similar call to action last month from 200 investors with more than $6 trillion in assets.

Read more here…