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Paul Polman

Major CEOs Call for Net-Zero Emissions Goal

Paul PolmanCEOs of some of the world’s largest companies including Virgin founder Richard Branson and Unilever chief Paul Polman have called on world leaders to commit to a global goal of net-zero greenhouse-gas emissions by 2050 at the climate talks in Paris this December — and urged business leaders to match this by committing to long-term targets.

The B Team Leaders, which also include Tata International’s Ratan Tata, telecoms billionaire Mo Ibrahim and Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington, say that by committing to net-zero GHG emissions by 2050, governments will demonstrate they are setting the world on a clear, low-carbon trajectory. They say businesses will respond by embedding climate action into their strategies, which will drive investment in clean energy, scale-up low-carbon services and technologies, create jobs and support economic growth.

The announcement comes a week before climate negotiators meet in Geneva work on a draft of the Paris climate deal.

Branson and former Puma CEO Jochen Zeitz in 2013 formed the global nonprofit to help companies develop a new way of doing business — a Plan B — that puts “people and planet alongside profit.”


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2 thoughts on “Major CEOs Call for Net-Zero Emissions Goal

  1. Wonderful, but wishful thinking. As long as carbon pollution remains free and the price of fuels fails to account for its damages, fossil fuels will remain artificially cheap. This fatal market failure can be easily corrected with a revenue-neutral carbon fee and dividend plan with border adjustments as advocated by Citizens’ Climate Lobby. Government doesn’t keep the money — it goes back to households which create aggregate demand for lower carbon products. Markets do the heavy lifting, not beurocracies and politicians. Can anyone really imagine a swift transition to renewables without the markets’ cooperation?

  2. Dear Mr. Branson… in light of Virgin Australia’s strong opposition to initiatives in Australia to reduce carbon, what is YOUR commitment to this goal for Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Australia, Virgin America and all your commercial enterprises, especially your airline operations?

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