Businesses across the world are doing their bit in the global transition to net zero emissions in a global effort to tackle climate change. Globally, over 5,200 companies of all sizes have now joined the UN Race to Zero, representing sectors like transport, technology, manufacturing, retail and finance.
The Race to Zero is a global campaign to rally leadership and support from businesses, cities, regions, investors for a healthy, resilient, zero carbon recovery that prevents future threats, creates decent jobs and unlocks inclusive, sustainable growth.
Aniket Shah, Jefferies managing director, told Reuters that although many of the steps lacked specific promises, they showed a global consensus forming to tackle climate change that will make it easier for private investors and governments to put in money and effort. “There’s a certain power of signaling of intentions that can’t be dismissed here,” Shah said.
He highlighted the goal set by India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 1, for his country to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2070. “Although two decades later than what scientists say is needed to avert catastrophic climate impacts, the pledge was still more than India had offered in the past and could be accelerated with financial help from developed nations,” Shah explained.
Peter Lacy, Accenture’s global sustainability services lead, said the most significant step for investors and companies was the creation of the International Sustainability Standards Board on November 3. It will create a baseline for companies to describe their climate impact. Lacy described it as a seismic moment for business and in line with the hopes of CEOs Accenture surveyed ahead of the COP26 conference. “The new board will give investors and stakeholders a much better understanding of related risks and opportunities and help guide the allocation of the huge amount of capital needed as the world transitions to net zero,” he said.
The UK Business and Industry Minister Lee Rowley had said the businesses, both large and small, across all sectors of the global economy, have a crucial role to play in both reducing their environmental impact and developing the green technologies that will set the world on the path to net zero.
Furthermore, tacking action on climate change will help businesses grow, seize new opportunities, create new jobs, encourage investment and adapt against the challenges of a changing planet, while reducing emissions can lower businesses’ running costs, save them money and attract new customers. This will ultimately help them maintain a competitive advantage locally and globally.