cop21-690x430

Business must lead the way when the United States leaves the Paris Agreement


1 June, 2017

Donald Trump’s threat to pull out of the Paris climate agreement is now a fact. The move increases the pressure and demand for business to accelerate the transition to a society where emissions are close to zero. It is as much a question about avoiding the risks as taking advantage of business opportunities. The companies in the Haga Initiative have seen increased profits from reducing their climate impact.

147 countries have ratified the Paris Agreement on Climate Change with the aim of cutting emissions and keeping global temperatures from increasing more than 2 degrees Celsius, aiming at 1,5 degrees. The agreement was a breakthrough in international climate actions, manifesting global responsibility and a hopeful vision that development must not occur at the expense of human health, security and welfare neither for todays or our future generations. The US withdrawing from the Paris agreement hinders continued international climate efforts and affects the future green business.

- Now more than ever, the business community needs to show further leadership in the climate issue. Without a higher pace from corporates, the world will not succeed in the Paris agreement’s ambition to keep the temperature rise below two degrees, aiming at 1.5 degrees, said Nina Ekelund, Program Director, the Haga Initiative.

On Thursday, several business leaders and opinion leaders strongly condemned the decision. Among the critics were Tesla’s founder, Elon Musk, Apple CEO, Tim Cook, and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.

Recently a new initiative was formed, Business Backs Low-Carbon USA, a network supported by over 1,000 companies and investors in the United States. The signatories want to see climate smart investments and continued US support of the Paris agreement as it creates jobs and strengthens US competitiveness.

- The Haga Initiative know that the majority of companies see additional business opportunities and thereby increased profitability by reducing their climate impact and meeting the growing demand for sustainable solutions. The momentum behind the global low-carbon transition is too strong to be prevented by Trump’s decision, concluded Nina Ekelund.