The GlobeScan/SustainAbility Survey, a long-running expert surveys on sustainability-related topics, finds 86 percent predict that the private sector will play an “important” or “very important” role post-Paris. Some 90 percent of respondents believe the same to be true for national governments.
But while a significant majority (92 percent) of respondents are confident that the UN conference on climate change will result in a global agreement, only 32 percent believe that it will have binding powers.
Confidence in the ability of governments to agree on a framework in Paris that would reduce emissions in line with the 2 degrees C target is virtually non-existent (4 percent) and the removal of subsidies for fossil fuels (82 percent) was rated the most effective economic instrument to contain global warming by experts.
Opinions of expert stakeholders from 69 countries show that there has been a big turnover in perceived corporate leaders on climate change since Copenhagen in 2009, citing a whole new set of champions including Unilever, Tesla, IKEA, Google, General Electric and Walmart. Only three companies — General Electric, Walmart and Toyota — that were included in the 2009 ranking made the list this year.
A second global study published today by the United Nations Global Compact and Accenture finds a majority of business leaders say that a long-term agreement at the UN climate summit in Paris is critical to supporting private sector investment in low carbon solutions.
The report also reveals that executives see action on climate change as an opportunity for growth and innovation that will be essential to securing competitive advantage in their industries.
The UN Global Compact-Accenture CEO Study report, Special Edition: A Call to Climate Action, is based on a survey of 750 business leaders from UN Global Compact participant companies. The research, undertaken by Accenture Strategy, finds that 70 percent of executives representing companies with annual revenues of more than $1 billionn see climate change presenting opportunities for growth and innovation for their company within the next five years. Sixty-seven percent already see a clear business case for action on climate change.
In the broader sample of business leaders across 121 countries, more than half (54 percent) of all respondents say that climate change will create opportunities for their company within the next five years. Forty eight percent believe that there is already a clear business case for action.