UN Global Compact Welcomes Historic COP21 Paris Agreement

Dec 14, 2015 8:05 AM ET
Press Release

Paris, December 14, 2015 /3BL Media/ –  UN Global Compact Executive Director Lise Kingo welcomed the historic climate agreement adopted by 195 countries in Paris at COP21:

“We congratulate the Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christina Figueres, French Minister of Foreign Affairs Laurent Fabius and Government leaders from 195 countries for this historic milestone. The ambition of political leaders to hold ‘the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C,’ clearly demonstrates the political will to address the climate change threat.

“We believe the Paris Agreement sends the right market signals which will provide predictability, unlock capital, drive innovation and reward responsible business. It is no longer a question of if we transition to a low carbon economy. Rather, it is a question of how.

“Never before have we seen this level of engagement from business and it is clear that the momentum is unstoppable. The private sector should also be applauded for inserting good business practices into the COP21 process and by sending the message that a solid climate agreement was indeed needed and wanted.

As referenced in the Paris Agreement, the private sector has an important role to play and we believe that responsible business can help to fill the gap between what has been committed by Governments though the INDCs and what is needed to reach a carbon neutral economy by mid-century.

“At the UN Global Compact, we have built the largest coalition of businesses that are taking action on climate. Since 2007, our Caring for Climate initiative with UNEP and UNFCCC has brought more than 450 companies together to advance the power of sustainable business. Since 2013, Caring for Climate signatories have reduced their carbon footprints by 12%. Their new targets announced this week at COP 21, if achieved, will generate an estimated annual emissions savings of 93.6 million metric tons CO2e or more than the annual carbon emissions of Peru.

“Coming out of Paris, we need 100% participation by the private sector. We must increase the pace and ambition of corporate sustainability as the risks and opportunities are now even more apparent. Working closely with our local networks in more than 80 countries, we will continue to inspire companies to transform their business models, reallocate their capital to invest in technologies that reduce carbon emission, and be transparent about their efforts to ensure that commitments are met.

“We must continue the solidarity and unity that has brought the global community together in order to move from negotiations to implementation and create the world that we want to live in.

“We at the UN Global Compact are ready to help government and business leaders meet this challenge.”

Media Contacts
Kristina Wilson-Rocheford, kwilson@unglobalcompact.org, +1 646-884-7515
Michael Holland, Michael.Holland@edelman.com, +1 646-361-3926

About the UN Global Compact at COP21
The UN Global Compact was the official platform for business at COP21.  The Caring for Climate Business Forum held as part of COP21/CMP11 and the Lima-Paris Action Agenda (LPAA) – convened more than 700 participants over two-days from business, finance, Government, civil society and the United Nations to discuss the integral role of the private sector in advancing the climate agenda. The event was attended by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon; French Minister of Environment, Sustainable Development and Energy, Ségolène Royal; and Secretary of State of the United States John Kerry. Participants reported on progress on the development and diffusion of low-carbon and climate-resilient solutions, shared targets, and met with policymakers on how to better collaborate to drive climate action. In addition, business and investors shared commitments and contributions, discussed pricing the cost of carbon emissions, and made key recommendations for Government actions that would help bring greater scale and quality to corporate climate leadership globally.

About the UN Global Compact
The United Nations Global Compact is a call to companies everywhere to voluntarily align their operations and strategies with ten universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption, and to take action in support of UN goals and issues. The UN Global Compact is a leadership platform for the development, implementation and disclosure of responsible corporate policies and practices. Launched in 2000, it is the largest corporate sustainability initiative in the world, with over 8,000 companies and 4,000 non-business signatories based in 170 countries. www.unglobalcompact.org

About Caring for Climate
Launched by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in 2007, Caring for Climate is the UN Global Compact, UN Environment Programme and the secretariat of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change’s initiative to advance the role of business in addressing climate change. It provides a framework for business leaders to implement practical climate change solutions and help shape public policy. Chief executive officers who endorse the initiative are prepared to set goals, develop and expand strategies and practices, and to publicly disclose emissions. The Caring for Climate Business Forum is held every year at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP/CMP), providing a platform for dialogue and action among business, investors, civil society, the UN and Government officials.  Caring for Climate is endorsed by over 450 companies from 65 countries. www.caringforclimate.org

Kristina Wilson-Rocheford
UN Global Compact
+1 (217) 979-7984