How the Below50 Initiative Can Help Achieve a Net Zero Emissions Economy

Is a net zero emissions economy even possible? There are companies and organizations who think so.

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) launched the Low Carbon Technology Partnerships initiative (LCTPi) last year at COP21 in Paris. It is comprised of more than 160 companies and 70 partners working together to speed the transition to a net zero emissions economy. Supported by We Mean Business partners, LCTPi working groups as a whole target 65 percent of the emissions reductions needed to achieve the below two degree Celsius objective.

Below50 is another initiative of the WBCSD, launched last June in the U.S. and Europe and in South America in October. It is an important part of the LCTPi work as it provides companies and organizations who work in transport and logistics with a platform to get directly involved with climate action. Any company can join below50 that produces, uses or invests in fuels that are at least 50 percent less carbon intensive than conventional fossil fuels.

We Mean Business and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) recently announced their partnership to expand below50. The goal of the partnership is to make below50 a key initiative for companies and investors making commitments to climate action through the We Mean Business Take Action Campaign. The new partnership is a show of confidence in the potential of below50 to increase the use of sustainable fuels, and its ability to enable companies to become more involved in decarbonizing transport.

There are several ways that below50 plans to create demand for sustainable fuels and scale up their deployment. One of them is by increasing the amount of companies that choose the fuels. Another way is to demonstrate that below50 fuels make sense economically, socially, and environmentally. Still other ways include addressing legislative and financial barriers to sourcing below50 fuels, and creating inter-sectoral business-to-business (B2B) opportunities across supply chains.

Advocacy plays a big role in the work of below50, which includes:

• Leveraging the critical mass of the group to drive global and regional policy engagement.

• Developing clear key messages for policy makers.

• Joining regional dialogues globally, engaging with countries to establish long-term targets, incentives and policy frameworks.

• Publishing an annual report on progress, policy recommendations, pilot projects and best practices.

What can members gain from being a part of below50? They can gain from being a part of a global movement that will help achieve the two-degree goal. By doing so, they can showcase their role in creating and delivering solutions that fight climate change by supporting market growth of the world’s most sustainable fuels.

Perhaps there is nothing more key in fighting climate change than stopping the addiction to fossil fuels. Initiatives like below50 are an important part in achieving the goal of a fossil free world where there is a net zero emissions economy.

Photo: WBCSD