Joint Media Statement, CDP, Global Compact Network Australia & WWF-Australia
More Australian companies are being encouraged to step up, show leadership, and take action on climate change.
CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project), Global Compact Network Australia and WWF-Australia have joined forces and are today launching a global initiative in Australia to encourage companies to take action on climate change in the lead up to the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris in December.
“The science is in – we need to keep warming below 2 degrees Celsius to avoid the worst impacts of climate change,” said James Day, Director – Australia & NZ, CDP.
“It’s going to be far more cost-effective for companies to start now and implement science-based carbon reduction targets. There is growing awareness amongst business that climate change is no longer a faraway problem and future risk, but a real and present danger. For example, CDP data shows that 45% of physical risks from climate change were described by S&P 500 companies as current or predicted to fall within the next 1-5 years in 2013, up from 26% in 2011,” he said.
“We’re looking for corporate leadership in Australia to set an example for other companies and governments to follow,” said Monica Richter, WWF-Australia Business Engagement Manager - Climate Change. “There is abundant evidence that Australia can undertake ambitious emissions reductions and even reach 100% renewables and zero net emissions by 2050 with a strong and growing economy. Companies will play a key role in making that happen and putting Australia on the front foot towards a high growth, 2oC economy, and a number of industries such as farming and manufacturing will excel under a low carbon economy,” she said.
“As the world moves towards a global agreement on climate action, the implications for business are becoming increasingly apparent,” said Alice Cope, Executive Manager of the Global Compact Network Australia. “There are also significant opportunities for companies willing to take action that can drive competitiveness and build more resilient, sustainable economies. We are looking forward to supporting Australian companies to build engagement with and advance practical solutions to climate challenges,” she said.
Companies around the world are being encouraged to become champions for one or more of the following “Road to Paris” climate leadership initiatives:
- Commit to science-based carbon emission reduction targets that limit global warming to below 2oC
- Commit to having a strategy in place to procure 100% of electricity from renewable sources
- Commit to removing commodity-driven deforestation from all supply chains
- Commit to responsible corporate engagement in climate policy
- Commit to report climate change information in mainstream corporate reports as a fiduciary duty
- Commit to put a price on carbon.
So far, 96 major companies around the world have committed to one or more of these climate initiatives, including Australian companies Westpac Banking Corporation and Novion Property Group, and hundreds more are expected to sign up by the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris in December.
“We’re saying to company CEOs: if you want to satisfy shareholders, customers and employees and leave a lasting legacy, set science-based targets, reduce your carbon emissions and buy renewable energy. If companies get this right, they will become recognised as the supplier, employer and investment of choice, as well as a leader on climate change,” Ms Richter concluded.
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