News & Views

At COP 23, Chief Executives and Leaders Agree: More Ambitious Targets Needed to Meet Paris Agreement Objectives

Bonn, Germany

Leaders from business, civil society, Government and the United Nations convened today in Bonn to discuss an accelerated pathway forward towards implementing the Paris Climate Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the COP 23/CMP 13: High-Level Meeting of Caring for Climate.

Jointly hosted by the UN Global Compact, UN Environment Programme and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change secretariat, the meeting served as a high-level stakeholder consultation — with a focus on business engagement — to inform the process leading up to the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Summit to be held in 2019.

In the opening address of the High-Level Meeting, UN Secretary-General António Guterres called on business to urge Governments to make stronger commitments by 2020, saying, “Be more vocal, be more demanding… I am asking you to misbehave. Make sure that your voice is heard and… that you are clearly demonstrating [climate action] in the way you invest and the way you act as entrepreneurs in today’s world.” Underscoring the importance of the next two years, the Secretary-General added, “We need to make sure that the agreements that are made are fully implemented, but that we go beyond that. In 2020, there will be stronger commitments than the ones that were made in Paris [at COP 21].”

Fijian Minister Inia Seruiratu, High-Level Climate Champion reiterated the show of progress by business and non-state actors to accelerate climate action and called for all actors to embrace the Marrakech Partnership for Climate Action. Reflecting on the moral case for responsible corporate action, he added, “Development is not only about economic gains. Development at the expense of the environment is irresponsible development. And development at the expense of the people with serious social implications is also not responsible development.”

Discussing the importance of corporate climate action leading up to 2020, Lise Kingo, CEO & Executive Director of the UN Global Compact, observed that mainstream business are still continuing with a business-as-usual scenario.” She added: “Global leaders have the power to accelerate ambition and action — we need to embrace a new era of business-unusual.”

Today also saw the release of the Global Climate Action Playbook 2018, which equips business with a set of policy updates, tools and analysis to enhance Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and the SDGs. Launched by the UN Global Compact together with its partners, including the World Resources Institute, the Playbook is designed to help business and Governments work together to enhance country level ambition and action to implement the Paris Agreement leading up to 2020.

The High-Level Meeting featured remarks by H.E. Mr. Pawel Salek, Secretary of state, Polish Ministry of Environment, Mr. Andrew Steer, President and CEO, World Resources Institute, Ms. Raijeli Nicole, Director, Pacific Region, Oxfam and Mr. Mahendra Singhi, Group Chief Executive Officer, Dalmia Cement (Bharat), India.

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