In the New York Times Tuesday, Conservation International and coalition organizations published an open letter to “the CEOs of Corporate America.” Notably, the call to action is for corporations to do more than set voluntary targets. The letter urges corporations to use their influence to lobby governments for science-based policy.
The letter identifies climate change as a risk to everyone and everything, from value chains and shareholders to families and the future. And while companies making voluntary commitments to reach science-based targets to cut emissions is necessary, reaching net-zero emissions among industrialized nations by 2050 requires more. Specifically, it requires science-based climate policy.
“Given their power to shape public policy, businesses have a vital role to play in moving smart and effective climate policies forward,” explains the letter. The broad call to action is for businesses to adopt a science-based climate policy agenda aligned with the recommendations of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Specifically, it asks businesses to leverage power in order to advance such policy, align their trade associations accordingly and allocate spending “to advance climate policies, not obstruct them.”
For accountability to investors, the letter calls for transparent corporate governance and disclosures on the recommended actions. “Our expectations on corporate climate lobbying are aligned with those expressed recently by 200 investors with $6.5 trillion in assets under management,” the letter says.
“Now is the time for companies to raise the bar on climate change leadership,” said Conservation International’s CEO M. Sanjayan. “We need corporate America to adopt a climate policy agenda. Today.”
Trisha Calvarese is a senior writer at Conservation International.
Cover image: A building skyline in Singapore. (© Brongaeh/Flickr Creative Commons)
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