Monday, September 29, 2014

Big Business Climate Change Movement Grows in Size and Heft

Chairman of Swiss Re America Holding Corporation, Philip K. Ryan, is seen here (on the right) talking at the launch of RE100, an initiative whose backers pledge to derive 100% of their company’s power from renewable sources by 2020. The launch was part of Climate Week NYC (Sept. 22-28).  (Credit: Click to enlarge.
Climate Week presented a two-front push for nations to take action on climate change.  The moral case was emphatically made by a record-setting, 400,000-person march through Manhattan.  What followed was a similarly unprecedented barrage from investor groups and corporations to convince world leaders that there's also a compelling economic case for taking steps against global warming.

The business presence last week was particularly striking because of its breadth and heft, and because of its extension well beyond the so-called "green bubble" that surrounds companies, investors and advocacy groups who embraced the cause long ago.

Signatories representing $26 trillion in investment funds called on world leaders to enact strong policies, cut fossil fuel subsidies and make polluters pay for the effects of their emissions. There were commitments and pledges from the likes of General Motors, food makers Mars Inc. and Nestle, and consumer products giant Unilever.  And a string of corporate CEOs joined early-adopters like Ikea Group in supporting renewable energy and citing proof that companies and countries can tackle climate change and prosper at the same time.

"More and more businesses are coming forward and saying look, we can do this.  We can cut energy use, we can become more efficient, and we can provide solutions—and this represents an enormous biz opportunity," said Paul Simpson, chief executive officer of London based CDP, a company that collects corporate climate change data on behalf of shareholders. "That's not a completely new message, but I think there are far more companies on board with saying it, and that's really a fundamental shift."

Big Business Climate Change Movement Grows in Size and Heft

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