Colgate and Coca-Cola are among 155 business giants that have come together to ask global leaders to urge governments to focus on a green recovery by aligning Covid-19 economic responses with the latest climate science.
The statement has three demands. The first is for governments to implement “ambitious science-based targets” to set the world on a 1.5°C trajectory – the goal which the Paris Agreement wants countries to work towards.
The second demand is to prioritise green jobs and the third is for governments to give businesses “confidence and clarity to take ambitious climate change action.”
“We must move beyond business-as-usual and work together to deliver the greatest impact for people, prosperity and the planet,” it says. “A systemic shift to a zero-carbon and resilient economy is within our reach - our only future depends on making this vision a reality.”
Global CO2 emissions decreased by 17 per cent in April 2020 compared with mean 2019 levels, with just under half coming from changes in transport.
Corinne Le Quéré, a professor of climate change at the University of East Anglia, and lead author of the study, in which the findings were published in the journal Nature Climate Change, warned however that changes could be short-lived.
“Several drivers push towards a rebound with an even higher emission trajectory compared with the policy-induced trajectories before the Covid-19 pandemic,” she said. These include calls to weaken vehicle emission standards, and the disruption of clean energy deployment.
“The extent to which world leaders consider the net-zero emissions targets and the imperatives of climate change when planning their economic responses to Covid-19 is likely to influence the pathway of CO2 emissions for decades to come.”
Uniting Businesses and Governments to Recover Better - joint statement here
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