Climate change is one of the biggest challenges of our times. Over the next two weeks, global policymakers will gather in Madrid for the UN’s annual climate summit, most of them from nations committed to the landmark Paris Climate Agreement.
In the face of the climate emergency, the US has begun its formal withdrawal from the Agreement after stating its intention to do so in 2017. Around the same time, about 70 CEOs in the US came together to support the United States’ participation in the Agreement. They were keen to emphasize that they were still in and would come together to fill the leadership void. ABB stands with them.
The impacts of rising global temperatures are clear. Around the world, vulnerable populations are witnessing a higher frequency of extreme weather events, as a result of climate change. Hurricanes have become more destructive, wildfires are happening more often and resulting in record levels of damage, drought spells are longer, and floods are deluging wider areas. All of this is impacting the economy and threatening the lives and livelihoods of millions of people.
Businesses have an increasingly vital role to play in accelerating the shift to a low-carbon and climate-resilient economy. Business leaders will need to partner with other companies, governments and civil society to make this happen. The promise of the Paris Agreement is one of a just and prosperous world. As of 2018, clean energy employed more than 3 million Americans, three times the number of workers employed by fossil fuel. Employers estimate a six percent growth in these jobs through 2019.
A shift to a low-carbon economy would be a $26 trillion global growth opportunity, further proving that a long-term sustainable future is also great for businesses. Staying in the Paris Agreement will strengthen competitiveness of companies in global markets, positioning the United States to lead the deployment of new technologies that support a just transition of the workforce, with respect for labor rights, to provide for employees and communities, create new jobs and build lasting companies. The agreement also supports investments by setting clear goals, which allow for long-term planning. Companies are encouraged to innovate to achieve reduced emissions at low cost.
There has been progress in the last couple of years, but that is nowhere near enough. Leaders must commit to greater, quicker action going forward, utilizing the strong policy framework of the Paris Agreement that allows companies the freedom to choose their own path to reducing emissions. ABB stands committed to this path, and will work with business and world leaders to facilitate fast-track solutions that would help world leaders deliver a more ambitious action plan to tackle climate change and meet the goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement.
Read the full statement here: https://www.unitedforparisagreement.com/