- The Climate Leaders’ Summit (CLS) being hosted virtually by the US begins tomorrow, on 22 April, with 40 key world leaders expected to clearly outline their emission targets
- The CLS is one of the major milestones preceding the U.N. climate summit COP26, scheduled to take place in Glasgow, in November 2021
21 April 2021, Washington D.C – 310 US businesses and investors, worth over USD $3 trillion in annual revenues, collectively called on President Biden in an open letter last week, to adopt the ambitious and attainable target of cutting GHG emissions by at least 50% below 2005 levels by 2030. The letter was organized and published by the We Mean Business coalition and Ceres.
This target would double the country’s previous commitment, which was de-railed by the Trump administration pulling out of the Paris Agreement, and contribute to limiting the global temperature rise to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius below pre-industrial levels.
Business signatories include major companies such as Apple, BT Americas, Boston Consulting Group, the Coca-Cola Company, Danone NA, Edison International, Facebook, General Electric, Google, H&M, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, IKEA Retail U.S., Johnson & Johnson, Kelloggs, Lafarge Holcim, Levi Strauss & Co., Mastercard, McDonald’s Corporation, Microsoft, National Grid, Nestlé, Nike, Novozymes North America, Ørsted North America, SAP SE, Schneider Electric, Siemens, Solvay, Starbucks, Stonyfield Organic, Tiffany & Co, Unilever, Verizon, and Walmart, among others.
Investor signatories of the letter collectively represent more than $1 trillion in assets under management and include CalSTRS, the New York State Comptroller, the New York City Comptroller and the California State Controller’s Office, among others.
“A strong national emissions reduction target is just what we need to catalyze a net-zero emissions future and build back a more equitable and inclusive economy,” said Anne Kelly, Vice President of Government Relations at Ceres. “Businesses of all sizes recognize that reducing emissions is vital to keeping the U.S. competitive, and protecting the health and well-being of people and the planet.”
Molly Fogarty, Senior Vice President of Government and Corporate Affairs, Nestlé, quoted, “To have a real impact on climate change, we all need to do our part. That’s why Nestlé supports the U.S. setting a target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50% by 2030, and why we are committed to reaching net zero emissions by 2050 across our businesses and supply chain in the U.S. and around the globe.”
“As business leaders, we recognize that climate action is a path to job creation, economic growth, improved public health and enhanced innovation” commented Brian Tippens, Chief Sustainability Officer, Hewlett Packard Enterprise.
“At McDonald’s we are committed to being a part of the solution and using our scale and reach to tackle climate change. We have a responsibility to the nearly 40,000 communities we serve to protect the planet and build a more resilient and equitable future. Now is the time to be bold, and that is why McDonald’s fully supports the United States setting an ambitious target.” commented Katie Fallon, Executive Vice President and Chief Global Impact Officer, McDonald’s.
The U.S. is the world’s second-biggest carbon emitter, after China and tackling carbon removal is viewed as imperative in a net-zero world.
Biden’s recommitment to the Paris Agreement has been long-awaited by 200 signatories of the Paris Agreement in 2015. The highlight of Biden’s climate agenda includes investment in a major infrastructure package to enable a clean energy transition, one of the country’s largest federal efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions that would be paid for largely by raising corporate tax rates.
New regulations are also expected on fossil fuel producers along with executive orders to reverse Trump’s climate policy rollbacks on issues like clean water, air, chemicals and protection of land and wildlife.
President Biden is expected to announce a new nationally determined contribution (NDC) before hosting the Climate Leader’s Summit on April 22 and 23, where 40 key world leaders will virtually convene to outline how they will contribute and revise targets, according to a recent White House statement.
About We Mean Business and Ceres
We Mean Business is a global coalition of nonprofit organizations working with the world’s most influential businesses to take action on climate change by catalyzing business action to drive policy ambition.
Ceres is a nonprofit organization that uses its powerful networks and global collaborations of investors, companies and nonprofits, to drive action and inspire equitable market-based and policy solutions throughout the economy.