New analysis of Paris Agreement identifies market opportunities as more companies move to take bold climate action

20th Apr 2016

  • ‘What Paris means for business’ analysis urges companies to seize market opportunities worth trillions of dollars created by Paris
  • Surge in companies from around the world taking bold climate action following Paris Agreement
  • Over 100 Fortune 500s and others call for swift action on EPA’s Clean Power Plan
  • 33 new companies commit to setting science-based targets since COP21

NEW YORK CITY – April 20, 2016 – A new analysis, ‘What Paris means for business’ published today, just hours before world leaders convene at the United Nations to sign the historic Paris Climate Agreement, highlights market opportunities worth trillions of dollars arising from the agreement and urges the private sector to take action now and bring clean energy and prosperity to all.

Experts from We Mean Business – a coalition of organizations working with thousands of the world’s most influential businesses and investors – have analyzed the details of the Paris Agreement to identify key policies relevant to global business and translated it into an accessible form for a private sector audience.

All major economies are committing to restructuring their energy systems, changing transport patterns, and transforming infrastructure, buildings and land use. Collectively, the national climate plans under the Paris Agreement represent at least a US$13.5 trillion market for the energy sector alone in energy efficiency and low-carbon technologies through 2030.

Edward Cameron, Head of Policy for We Mean Business said:

“Paris is an unprecedented international agreement and a defining moment for the global market. The governments of the world have spoken with one voice and have committed to decarbonizing the global economy during this century. Trillions of dollars of market opportunity await businesses with the foresight to lead across their entire value chains. The We Mean Business campaign provides the platform for business to seize this market.”

The analysis provides insight into what companies should expect as the economy undergoes a deep transformation post-Paris. It includes:

  • New and expanded market opportunities
  • Opportunities to align investment decisions to long-term policy certainty
  • Benefits from policy coherence across borders and into new markets
  • Increased investor confidence in managing climate risks

The volume of private sector climate action is accelerating fast. Fifty one new leading global companies, making sixty two separate commitments, including Aveda, Peugeot Citroen, Bloomberg, Tiffany & Co, Ferrovial, Sky, HP, Toyota and many more, have joined the We Mean Business coalition in the immediate aftermath of the Paris Agreement, recognizing the agreement’s immediate and long-term implications for business operations, supply chains, investor preferences and consumer demand in the global marketplace. They are taking implementation steps like powering their operations with 100% renewable energy, using an internal price on carbon, and setting science-based emissions reduction targets. Leading businesses taking strong climate actions benefit from an average 27% internal rate of return on low-carbon investments. A full list can be found in Notes to Editors.

In addition:

  • The UNFCCC’s Nazca Portal contains over 4,000 commitments by companies, cities, subnational regions, and investors to address climate change.
  • 397 companies with total revenue of $7.9tn & 183 investors with AUM in excess of $20.7tn have made 951 commitments through We Mean Business
  • 58 companies have committed to procure 100% of their electricity from renewable sources in the shortest practical timescale through RE100.
  • 147 companies, an additional 33 since COP21, have either set or have committed to setting science-based emissions targets through the Science Based Targets initiative; this commitment is one of the commitments upheld by We Mean Business.

Global businesses already at the forefront of climate action such as Google, Ikea and one of India’s largest conglomerates, Mahindra & Mahindra, have continued to push ahead with new initiatives to further invest in clean energy and new technologies as a direct result of the successful Paris Climate Agreement.

Anirban Ghosh, Chief Sustainability Officer, Mahindra & Mahindra said:

“As we strive to keep average temperature rise well below 2C, we must stretch every sinew to enhance energy productivity, an increasingly expensive resource. Mahindra is delighted to become a part of EP100, a program that drives breakthrough energy productivity. The heightened conversation on sustainability has led to the incorporation of climate change related risks in the risk registers of the different Mahindra Group businesses.”

Steve Howard, Chief Sustainability Officer, Ikea said:

“Everyone, including policymakers, business and civil society, needs to work together in delivering actions and solutions that facilitate a rapid transition to a low carbon economy. At IKEA, we are committed to do our part. We will continue to invest in renewable energy and to transform our business. By 2020, we will produce as much renewable energy as the energy we consume in our own operations.”

Michael Terrell, Head of Energy Policy, Google Inc. said:

“Companies are making big bets in clean energy to fight climate change and because it makes business sense. At Google, we have committed to purchase over 2 gigawatts of renewable energy and are the largest non-utility renewable energy purchaser in the world. We believe we can tackle climate change in a way that will spur innovation and growth and benefit us all.”

Dell and Kellogg, two American companies with science-based emissions targets approved through the Science Based Targets initiative last year, have taken steps towards reducing their emissions within their own operations and throughout their supply chains.

David Lear, Executive Director of Sustainability at Dell, explains: “Technology has a critical role in addressing the causes and consequences of climate change. We know we have the greatest impact when we help our customers reduce their footprint so we’ve designed our products to use 30% less energy compared to our products five years ago, with a goal to get to 80% by 2020. More than 38% of Dell’s electricity comes from renewable sources and we expect over half of our electricity will be renewable in just four years. We’ve also embraced teleworking and other flexible work arrangements, which reduces our employees’ emissions by over 35,000 of metric tons of CO2e per year.”

“At Kellogg, we know people care about where food comes from, who grows and makes it, and that there’s enough for everyone,” said Diane Holdorf, Chief Sustainability Officer at Kellogg Company. “And climate change can impact both food security and our business by posing risks to the long-term health and viability of the ingredients we use in our foods. During COP21 last December, we committed to reducing the emissions from our operations and energy use by 65 percent and to working with our suppliers to significantly reduce their emissions as well. Since then, Kellogg has asked 75 percent of our global suppliers to publicly report their emissions so that we can better measure our whole footprint.”

In a further show of support for the Paris Climate Agreement, over 100 business giants have called for swift action on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan and investment in the low carbon economy at home and abroad.

The companies, including IKEA, Mars, PG&E, Salesforce, General Mills, Kellogg’s, HP, and Starbucks released a statement organized by a coalition of groups, including the nonprofits Ceres and World Wildlife Fund, during a teleconference today.

In the statement, the signatories pledged to do their part to “realize [the Paris Climate Agreement’s] vision of a global economy that limits global temperature rise to well below two degrees Celsius.” They also called on U.S. leaders for an investment in the low-carbon economy at home and abroad to give financial decision-makers clarity and to boost investors’ confidence worldwide.

Barry Parkin, Chief Sustainability Officer, Mars said:

“We are hopeful that continued leadership and progress by the business community will encourage the U.S. to follow through on its COP21 commitment and to successfully implement the Clean Power Plan.”

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For more information about this release, or to request interviews, please contact:

Anu Ramumurty, [email protected], +1 646 298 6661

Pete Bowyer, [email protected], +44 7740 913886

Lindsey Longendyke, [email protected], +1 202-729-7858

Tara Burke, [email protected], +44 7747 745675