RE100 companies voice support for low carbon economy as governments gather to sign Paris Agreement

Reading time: 6 minutes
22 April 2016

LONDON: RE100 companies have been voicing their support for a low carbon economy, ahead of today’s all-important Paris Agreement Signing Ceremony at the UN headquarters in New York. More than 160 countries have expressed their intention to sign the Paris Agreement, designed to keep global warming below 2 degrees and spur low carbon growth, offering new market opportunities worth US$13.5 trillion.

Corporates played a crucial role in ensuring a successful outcome of the COP21 climate talks in December, by demonstrating the business case for low carbon action and pledging their support. By working towards 100% renewable power as part of RE100 - a campaign convened by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP - they are demonstrating that words are being turned into action.

RE100 support was welcomed by Mark Kenber, CEO of The Climate Group, who said: “Businesses have a fundamental role to play in delivering a low carbon economy, and the Paris Agreement is giving them the confidence to go further and faster in their efforts.”

Explaining what the Paris Agreement means to their business, Gene M. Murtagh, CEO at Kingspan Group Plc said: “The strong outcome of the Paris agreement signals the beginning of the long term path towards decarbonisation through a range of critical areas including energy efficiency and renewable energy generation. Working together we can achieve our collective goal of a clean global economy.”  

Steve Howard, Chief Sustainability Officer at IKEA Group, one of the founding partners of RE100, said: “The Paris agreement represents a turning point for business. The certainty of ever stronger policies to reduce carbon emissions creates clarity for how we develop our products, services and operations for a low carbon future.”

Mike Barry, Director of Sustainable Business at Marks & Spencer, said: “We were delighted to see world leaders agree a strong deal at COP21. Now business must step up and create a clear, ambitious pathway to a low carbon future.”

Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, Chairman at Nestlésaid: “The ‘Sustainable Development Goals’ for 2030 and the binding Paris Agreement on climate change are landmark steps in matters of sustainable development, and have the potential and the imperative to make a real impact in the coming years. This is something we at Nestlé are pleased with and commit to actively contribute to.”

Fiona Ball, Head of Responsible Business at Sky said: “We need to maintain momentum post COP21 in Paris and make sure actions come out of all the hard work that went into last year. We need to send strong messages to markets and governments, pushing for a competitive, secure and sustainable energy system.”

Commenting on the business case for action, Ralph Hamers, CEO of ING, said: “Climate change is an unparalleled challenge for our world, and banks have a real responsibility to play a role in addressing it.”

Curtis Ravenel, Global Head of Sustainable Business & Finance at Bloomberg, said: “Price competitiveness, innovative financing mechanisms and diversified supply mean corporations can scale our efforts on renewables in a way that makes a compelling business case. Combine that with societal benefits like contributing to cleaner, healthier communities, and you have a positive and tangible business response to the challenge of climate change."

Over the coming months, the RE100 campaign will be showcasing the progress companies are making towards their 100% renewable electricity goals, and shining a light on the best examples of business leadership.

by Marie Reynolds

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