In December 2015 global businesses, investors, cities and regions signed the Paris Pledge to meet or exceed the ambition set by the Paris Agreement on climate change.
In the week that COP21 governments adopted the Paris Agreement, the first universal, legally binding climate deal to limit global temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius with a further aspiration to meet the 1.5 degrees target; over 1,200 non state actors signed the Paris Pledge to show their support for the Agreement.
Major cities, regions, companies and investors representing 150 million people and US$11 trillion supported L’Appel de Paris, the Paris Pledge for Action. They pledged to quickly and effectively help implement the Paris Agreement to accelerate the transformative changes needed to meet the climate change challenge.
Signatories signalled their support for global action on climate change, through the following statement:
“We welcome the adoption of a new, universal climate agreement at COP 21 in Paris, which is a critical step on the path to solving climate change. We pledge our support to ensuring that the level of ambition set by the agreement is met or exceeded.”
Initial signatories include most CLG members and other businesses such as Allianz, Mars, Kellogg’s, Tata Group; investors like Lloyd’s and Aviva; megacities such as New York, Johannesburg, Quezon City, Hong Kong, Rio De Janeiro and Mexico City; and regions such as Cross River State (Nigeria), Scotland (UK), Chiapas (Mexico) and California (United States).
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, President of COP 21, said:
"Non-state actor leadership is key to the success of COP21 and to the effective transition to a low-emissions and climate-resilient future. The world needs you to step up and rise to the challenges of climate change and sustainable development. This is why I strongly encourage you to take bold actions and make ambitious commitments, both individually and collectively, register them on NAZCA, and sign on to the Paris Pledge for Action, to make sure the commitments made in Paris by governments are achieved or even exceeded."
Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change said:
“COP21 was a landmark, and not just for the Paris Agreement by governments. The extraordinary momentum witnessed before and during the UN conference by cities, provinces, regions, companies and citizens was also a hallmark.
“The Paris Pledge for Action is about taking that momentum to the next level in support of nations as they work towards raising ambition up to 2020 and well beyond—it is about building ever more support by non-state actors who are aligning with government policy as never before.”
The Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) is managing the Paris Pledge for Action on behalf of the French Presidency of the COP21. In past years CISL has managed the Corporate Climate Communiqué process on behalf of the Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group (CLG), to which CISL provides the secretariat. The Corporate Climate Communiqués are seen by many as representing the definitive voice of the progressive international business community in advance of the annual UN climate conferences and now the Paris Pledge for Action brings in other voices from cities, regions, investors and civil society groups to pledge their support through their own actions.
The Corporate Leaders Group Director said:
“Governments reached an historic milestone last week in Paris. But the hard work is starting now. Countries can’t tackle climate change alone and we will need all hands on deck. Businesses, investors, cities and subnational governments have already made great strides in understanding, reducing and reporting their impact on the climate. Together state and non-state actors will be key to implementing the Paris Agreement. The Paris Pledge for action is a call to arms by non-state actors who are showing remarkable climate leadership and their readiness to work in partnership with government to ensure the transition to a low carbon economy.”