Ten years ago, the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) brought together a group of thirteen pioneering business leaders to write an open letter to the UK Prime Minister. We called for UK leadership on climate change and offered to work in partnership with the UK government to tackle greenhouse gas emissions.
The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group (CLG) is a select club of European business leaders working together, under the patronage of The Prince of Wales and with the support and advice of the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL), to advocate solutions to climate change to policymakers and business peers at the highest level, both within the EU and globally.
As members of the Corporate Leaders Group we are all playing our part in driving the transition to a low carbon, resilient, and sustainable economy in the UK and across the world. We are active across most major sectors of the economy, and, as these case studies illustrate, across the board we have found that action to reduce emissions can deliver growth as well as emission reductions and benefits to consumers. However, government support has been key to much of the progress we have been able to deliver; shifting the transition up a gear will only be achieved with a clear and ambitious vision driving a long-term and consistent policy framework across Government.
A short and relevant summary of the New Climate Economy synthesis report has been released by the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership and The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group.
The report sets out to understand how countries with different economies can achieve economic growth and development, while reducing the risk of dangerous climate change.
The succinct briefing is prepared with a business audience in mind and highlights the key points of the report: that the next 15 years are crucial, there are major opportunities for economic systems such as cities, land use, and energy, and that economic growth and action on climate change can be achieved together.
The New Climate Economy project was overseen by the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate. Chaired by former President of Mexico Felipe Calderón, the Commission is made up of 24 former heads of government and finance ministers, and leaders of businesses, cities, international organisations, and research institutions. The Commission was advised by a panel of 15 economists, all world leaders in their respective economic disciplines.
Today, it is the sacrifice economies and communities will increasingly have to make if the world fails to address climate change and the buildup of greenhouse gases.
The Climate Has Changed report demonstrates that bold action on climate change makes good business sense. Analysis of data collected by the Carbon Disclosure project (CDP) reveals that companies are already achieving good internal rate of returns from their low carbon investments.
It also highlights that longer term policy is needed to help companies do more.
The Trillion Tonne Communiqué (2014) is a global call to arms from businesses who take the science of climate change seriously and are demanding a proactive policy response.
The Carbon Price Communiqué (2012) made the case for setting a price on carbon emissions as one of the main building blocks of an effective and ambitious climate change policy framework.
The 2°C Challenge Communiqué (2011) called on governments to break the deadlock in the international negotiations and take action at a national level to ensure a successful transition to green growth and a climate resilient economy.
The Cancun Communiqué on Climate Change (2010) made it clear that the case for a comprehensive international framework to tackle climate change still stood after Copenhagen, and that the need for action was increasingly urgent. The signatories urged governments to redouble their efforts to achieve this framework and also to take necessary and appropriate mitigation actions in parallel with such efforts.
The Copenhagen Communiqué on Climate Change (2009) was signed by over 950 companies from 60 countries including the US, EU, Japan, Australia, Canada, Brazil, Argentina, Russia, India, China, Korea and South Africa; ranging from the world’s largest companies and best known brands, to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
The Poznań Communiqué (2008) was launched by the CLG ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference in Poznań, Poland. The Poznań Communiqué set out the key elements of an international deal on climate change and was endorsed by the business leaders of over 140 companies worldwide.
The Bali Communiqué (2007) was published by the CLG to governments gathering at the UN Climate Change Conference in Bali. CEOs from over 140 global companies signed The Bali Communiqué and it was published in a centre-page spread in the Financial Times and International Herald Tribune on the eve of the conference. It was an unprecedented move by business and received significant worldwide media attention.