Climate Action

The We Mean Business Coalition sees an expiry date for coal

A delegate walks past a sign during the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland, Britain, November 11, 2021. REUTERS/Yves Herman – RC2HSQ9UK0T8

Two weeks after the conclusion of COP26, the significance of the Glasgow Climate Pact is becoming clear. 195 countries now agree that coal has an expiry date, even if that date is not yet agreed. For business, investments in fossil fuels are now far riskier because the market expects them to become stranded assets in the foreseeable future. That is a huge achievement.

Our partner the We Mean Business Coalition, which represents thousands of the world’s most influential businesses, welcomes the Pact as a vital step in efforts to implement the Paris Agreement.

However, the countries’ combined pledges currently do not go far enough to limit global temperature rise to the Paris Agreement target of 1.5°C. For this reason, the We Mean Business Coalition is calling for immediate action to get 1.5°C out of “intensive care” and to fast track the implementation of all pledges and national plans.

Business has been heard

The deal agreed in Glasgow provides businesses with an important framework to bridge the gaps in ambition on mitigation, adaptation and finance.

It underscores the resilience of the Paris Agreement and the power of multilateralism to achieve shared aims. It also represents crucial progress in creating a space for business to drive investment and innovation. This, in turn, will give governments the confidence to ratchet up their plans, take rapid, concrete action and implement emission reduction policies.

Ahead of COP26, more than 750 businesses, employing 10 million people globally and with US$2.7 trillion in annual revenue, wrote to G20 leaders with a set of clear policy asks. The details of the Glasgow Climate Pact clearly demonstrate that the voice of forward-looking business has been heard. But there is still much work to do.

Supporting vulnerable communities

In addressing the climate crisis, it’s vital that business plays an integral role in building stronger, fairer and more resilient economies that leave no one behind. Transforming our economies in line with the Paris Agreement means business playing its part in supporting vulnerable communities and all those affected by the impacts of climate change.

Business is ready to help implement the Paris Agreement and the Glasgow Climate Pact rapidly this decade. We must do so in a way that is transparent, accountable, accelerates emission reductions, enhances resilience, protects and restores nature, creates a just transition for workers and protects communities.

Time for bold national policies

The We Mean Business Coalition welcomes that, for the first time, governments recognise the importance of phasing down coal and removing fossil fuel subsidies. However, to limit warming to 1.5°C, coal-fired power generation must be phased out by 2030 for advanced economies and 2040 for other countries.

The momentum and pledges made at COP26 must now be used to trigger the bold national policies needed to halve global emissions by 2030, reach net-zero by 2050 and keep 1.5°C within reach.

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