The Global Climate Action Summit: How Business Can Turn Up Climate Ambition
By Kelly Gallo, Manager, BSR
The Global Climate Action Summit is taking place September 12-14, 2018, in San Francisco, California. The theme? "Taking Ambition to the Next Level." This will be a moment to celebrate the extraordinary achievements of states, regions, cities, companies, investors, and citizens with respect to climate action and to ensure that we don’t stop here, but instead commit to continued effort and ambition in this space.
To keep warming well below 2 degrees C, and ideally below 1.5 degrees C—temperatures that could lead to catastrophic consequences—worldwide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions must start trending down by 2020. The Summit will showcase climate action around the world, along with bold new commitments, to give world leaders confidence they can go even further by 2020 in support of the Paris Climate Agreement.
Our President and CEO Aron Cramer serves on the Summit Advisory Committee and is working closely with the We Mean Business coalition to galvanize new climate commitments from business and highlight the most ambitious of announcements on a plenary stage that will reach an in-person audience of 4,500. We are working closely with our partners to support Summit program development around five headline challenges: 1) Healthy Energy Systems; 2) Inclusive Economic Growth; 3) Sustainable Communities; 4) Land and Ocean Stewardship; and 5) Transformative Climate Investments.
The private sector has a significant role to play in ratcheting up ambition, which can lead directly to reduced risk of climate disruption, as well as more resilient enterprises. In addition, this sends a powerful signal to peers and national governments that emissions reductions can be achieved with innovative and replicable solutions, and that policy frameworks can create the right incentives for action.
So how can your company get involved, contributing to the both the Summit this fall and the greater goal of preserving our earth and a promoting a thriving economy?
Here are the main ways businesses can engage:
1. Announce a public commitment
All companies can contribute to demonstrating the private sector’s combined impact by making a commitment to any of the following campaigns:
- Commit to set a science-based target to reduce your GHG emissions in line with limiting the global temperature increase to below 2 degrees C.
- Commit to source 100 percent renewable power for your operations through RE100.
- Commit to build zero emissions vehicle fleets to promote electric transport through EV100.
- Commit to achieve greater energy productivity through EP100.
- Commit to own, manage, rent, or develop buildings that are net-zero carbon in operation through the Towards Zero Emissions Building Initiative.
- Commit to establish a climate-resilient supply chain.
- Commit to mobilize funds for climate action.
- Commit to support a just transition to a clean energy economy that protects human rights.
- Commit to disclose climate performance on an annual basis.
Do you have a commitment that goes beyond any of these existing campaigns? Let us know!
2. Speak at the Summit
The formal Summit program will feature plenaries and a range of high-level sessions focusing on the five challenges and complementary themes, such as gender and equity. Speaker invitations will be issued by the Summit Co-Chairs, and CEOs of companies making high-ambition climate action commitments may be invited to speak.
3. Organize or join a side event
Beyond the formal Summit program, hundreds of affiliated events will take place during the week of September 10 throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Organized by a range of companies, NGOs, and governments, these events create additional arenas for exploring climate challenges and solutions that complement Summit activities.
4. Spread the word
Help spread the word about the Summit, the need for increased climate ambition, and your commitment to address climate change. Follow the Summit @GCAS2018 on Twitter and promote climate action and solutions using the #GCAS2018 and #StepUp2018 hashtags.
5. Sponsor the Summit
Sponsorship opportunities offer a range of benefits, including the opportunity to lift up sustainability commitments and to attend invitation-only Summit and affinity events.
BSR is working closely with the Summit team, and we will be conveying invitations to our members this month. We hope you join us in San Francisco this September, as our collective efforts must lead to a turning point by 2020 in order to prevent the worst effects of climate change.
For more information on the Summit, visit the Frequently Asked Questions page. If you have any questions about how to work with BSR to make sure your climate commitments are included in the business contribution to climate action, please contact us.
Originally published on BSR.