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Corporate Leaders Groups

Business leadership for a climate neutral economy

4 November 2016, Cambridge – Business leaders today welcomed the entry into force of the Paris Agreement on climate change.

 “The world now has a legal mandate to build a zero carbon future”

The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group (CLG), which brings together 24 leading European businesses, said it marked the beginning of a new era and provided the clear direction of travel that companies need to build a zero carbon economy. CLG called on participants to UN climate conference that opens next week in Marrakesh, Morocco (COP22), to start working on the details required to implement the global pact without delay.

The Paris Agreement was negotiated at COP21 last December and its early entry into force was triggered a month ago when more than 55 countries accounting for more than 55 percent of global emissions ratified it.

Philippe Joubert, Chair of The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group, said:

“Today marks the beginning of a new era. The entry into force of the Paris Agreement means that the world now has a legal mandate to build a zero carbon future. By ratifying the agreement with unprecedented speed, governments have shown that they understand the urgency of the climate challenge. We must now, governments and businesses together, turn the vision of a carbon emission free economy into reality. The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group remains fully committed to playing its part as a leading business voice for climate action.”

Along with entry into force, two other major milestones were reached in the past few weeks, with a global agreement to phase out HFCs and the first ever deal to curb aviation emissions.

CLG Director Jill Duggan welcomed Europe’s role in these achievements:

“The European Union was instrumental in reaching these three agreements. The EU can be proud of its remarkable track record of building a zero carbon economy. As we start implementing the Paris Agreement, Europe must stay at the forefront of climate action and seal the deal on its 2030 climate and energy framework as soon as possible.”

Gavin Patterson, Chief Executive Officer, BT Group, a member of The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group, said:

 “Technology plays a critical role in helping to tackle climate change so BT welcomes this news on the Paris climate agreement.  We will continue to collaborate with governments, corporates, consumers and civil society to realise the potential of our ICT solutions.”

Feike Sijbesma, CEO of DSM, a member of The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group, said:

“With the Paris Agreement – which has now entered into force - world leaders collectively embrace an accelerated transition to a low-carbon economy. Royal DSM is deeply committed to continuing to combat climate change: by reducing the impact of our own operations, by enabling our customers through providing low-carbon products and solutions and by advocating and raising our voice on, amongst other things, renewable energy and carbon pricing. The longer we fail to address climate change, the higher the costs of adaptation for the next generations.”

Ignacio S. Galán, Chairman and CEO of Iberdrola, a member of The Prince of Wale’s Corporate Leaders Group, said:

“The entry into force of the Paris Agreement sends an unambiguous signal to the business community: the urgent transition to a low-carbon economy will generate value and prosperity. Electrification is the way to intensify the energy industry’s sustainability and we’ll see a fully decarbonised electricity system by 2050.

“Iberdrola has strongly supported the Paris Agreement since the beginning of the process. We signed the ‘Paris Pledge for Action’ and, as the company’s contribution to the solution, we included our climate commitment by 2030: our emissions intensity will be 50% lower than in 2007 and we will provide a carbon-neutral electricity supply by 2050.”

Valentin Alfaya, Director of Quality and Environment at Ferrovial, a member of The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group, said:

“Ferrovial welcomes the early ratification of the Paris Agreement. This fact transmits the necessity of acting urgently, while providing certainty for long term investments that are key for a transition to a low carbon economy.”

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Media contact

Sylvain Biville | Communications Consultant | The Prince of Wales’ Corporate Leaders Group | T +44 7771 894 345

CLG at COP22

Spokespeople available for interviews:

Below are highlights of CLG activities at COP22 (for more details see here). Please note that these events are subject to change. Follow us on Twitter @ClimateCLG for updates.

PRESS CONFERENCE – Global Climate Action Agenda Business and Industry Day

DATE: Wednesday 9 November 2016, 12:30-13:30

VENUE: Fez Room, COP22 Blue Zone

CLG Director Jill Duggan will participate in a Business and Industry Day media briefing at 12:30, before delivering a keynote speech at the opening of the ‘Business and Industry Showcase’ session at 13:30. Register here.

EVENT – ‘Scaling innovative solutions for mitigation & adaptation’

DATE: Tuesday 15 November 2016, 15:00-16:30

VENUE: Arabian room, COP22 Blue Zone

WATCH the event live here

Co-hosted by CISL, SNV Netherlands Development Organisation and the Government of Cameroon, this official side-event will explore the alliance between business and technology and how innovative approaches in this context can help scale up mitigation and adaptation efforts in low-income regions.

EVENT – ‘Driving Innovation across the EU’

DATE: Wednesday 16 November, 08:30

VENUE: Es Saadi Hotel, Rue Ibrahim El Mazini, Marrakesh – Reservation required here

This event organised by CLG and We Mean Business will bring together Ministers, business leaders and experts from across Europe to reflect on the lessons learned in the EU and discuss how to take policy making and business innovation to the next level.

PRESS CONFERENCE: ‘Future Proofing: Why we need long-term climate plans’

DATE: Wednesday 16 November, 16:30-17:00 (TBC)

VENUE: Press Conference Room Dakhla (TBC)

As governments start elaborating their long-term climate strategies, business and subnational leaders will present their own perspective on 2050 national plans, as a necessary complement to more short-term NDCs. Organised jointly by CLG and We Mean Business.

About The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group

The Prince of Wales's Corporate Leaders Group (CLG) brings together 24 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: 3M, Acciona, Anglian Water Group, BT, Coca-Cola European Partners, Doosan Babcock, DSM, EDF, Ferrovial, GSK, Heathrow, Iberdrola, Interface, Jaguar Land Rover, Kingfisher, Lloyds Banking Group, Philips, Skanska, Sky, Stora Enso, 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.

Follow the CLG on Twitter @ClimateCLG