- A coalition representing 131 companies is urging national governments to phase out burning fossil fuels and scale up the production of clean energy ahead of the United Nations COP28 climate change summit, according to a Monday release.
- The “Fossil to Clean” letter was organized by the climate-focused We Mean Business Coalition and signed by businesses generating nearly $1 trillion in global annual revenue collectively, including Nestlé, Bayer, Danone, Ikea, eBay, Unilever and Volvo Cars.
- The letter calls for political leaders to accelerate the clean energy transition by committing to reach 100% decarbonized power systems in advanced economies by 2035 and provide financial support to developing countries so they can reach this goal by 2040.
The COP28 summit, which is being held in Dubai starting Nov. 30, will be attended by over 140 heads of state and senior government leaders and is situated against a backdrop of increased discourse on climate change and decarbonization efforts — especially how countries are off-track from achieving the goals laid out in the 2015 Paris Agreement.
“To fulfill their commitments to the Paris Agreement, countries have no option but to move on phasing down and out fossil fuels,” wrote We Mean Business CEO María Mendiluce in a statement. “Backtracking will create confusion amongst the business community. Delaying the transition is more expensive in the long run.”
The coalition believes businesses can play a key role in accelerating change, in collaboration with their respective governments, by shifting investments away from fossil fuels and toward clean energy to halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and create a net-zero global energy system by mid-century. To achieve this goal, fossil fuel producers would need to set up science-based, net-zero targets and develop and publish transition plans on short- and long-term steps to decarbonize business operations, products and services.
However, to facilitate a clean energy transition that meets the Paris Agreement goal of limiting temperature increase to 1.5°C, governments across the world would need to set conditions, policies, regulations and investments that align with a realistic timeline to phase out fossil fuel production and consumption.
“We have no choice but to be bold. Extreme weather is costing billions, and the human impact continues to grow,” Mendiluce said. “Every fraction of a degree of global heating matters. And every CO2 molecule matters, whether it comes from coal, oil or gas. We can no longer ignore the root cause of the climate emergency.”
Signatories ranged from major companies to small organic farms. The coalition urged other companies to sign the letter and “support immediate and decisive climate action” ahead of the COP28 summit.