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Paris, 9 December 2015 – With just 48 hours to go before the end of the COP21 UN climate conference, business organisations working with thousands of corporations and investors urged world leaders to ensure that a clear and specific long-term emissions goal is included in the final Paris agreement.

A clear direction of travel is needed to shift to a low carbon economy

Business is looking to the UN climate talks in Paris as an opportunity to receive a clear signal that governments are committed to the transition to a low carbon economy, members of the We Mean Business coalition said, in a letter to Heads of State and Government co-ordinated by The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group. 

The letter states: “To deliver such a signal, we need to see an agreement that provides a clear direction of travel and confidence that we will advance to meet it. This requires a clear and specific long-term emissions goal well before the end of the century coupled with a five-year ambition mechanism that begins around 2020. 

 “With such a signal business and investors will be able to scale up the already considerable investments and actions they are making and deliver trillions of dollars of investment over the next decade. We urge you to bear in mind the benefits of these trillions of dollars that will be unlocked, which will far outweigh the costs of contributing to and mobilising the $100 billion discussed in the negotiations.” 

Philippe Joubert, Chair of The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group, which brings together 23 European companies employing 2 million people in 170 countries, with combined revenues of $170 billion, said: “We expect world leaders to demonstrate their leadership in finalising the agreement required and we urge them to listen to the voice of business. We need a clear vision of the world we’re shaping for tomorrow, a direction of travel. This means a specific long-term zero emissions goal well before the end of the century. The impetus from a strong Paris outcome will enable us to speed up and scale up our solutions.” 

Nigel Topping, CEO of We Mean Business, said: “We believe that, under the very capable leadership of the French Presidency, the majority of ministers are working well towards an historic outcome – a robust, transparent, enduring, dynamic and legally binding climate regime containing all major emitters that has the potential to keep the 2°C target within reach.” 

/ Ends 

Read the letter.


Media Contacts

For media inquiries and interview requests, please contact:

Sylvain Biville | Media & Communications | Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership | T +44 7771 894 345

Anu Ramamurtry | Media | We Mean Business | T +1 646-298-6661 


About The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group

The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group (CLG) brings together 23 European business leaders who work under the patronage of His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales to advocate solutions on climate change to policymakers and business peers within the EU and globally.

CLG members are committed to playing a leadership role in securing a just, low-carbon transition, both in terms of changing their own businesses and sectors, and advocating change in the wider economic and political context. At a minimum the CLG supports the goal of achieving net zero emissions globally well before 2100. 

CLG members are: 3M, Acciona, Anglian Water Group, BT, Coca-Cola Enterprises, Doosan, DSM, EDF Energy, Ferrovial, GlaxoSmithKline, Heathrow, Iberdrola, Interface, Jaguar Land Rover, Kingfisher, Lloyds Banking Group, Philips, Skanska, Sky, Tesco, Thames Water, Unilever, United Technologies. 

The University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) provides the secretariat to the CLG. Decisions of the CLG do not necessarily represent the policies or positions of CISL or of the wider University of Cambridge. | @ClimateCLG 


About We Mean Business

We Mean Business is a coalition of organizations working with thousands of the world’s most influential businesses and investors. These businesses recognize that the transition to a low carbon economy is the only way to secure sustainable economic growth and prosperity for all. To accelerate this transition, we have formed a common platform to amplify the business voice, catalyze bold climate action by all, and promote smart policy frameworks. 

Members of the coalition are: BSR, CDP, Ceres, The B Team, The Climate Group, The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group and WBCSD | @WMBtweets