CEOs 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.”