Companies fail to lead by example at the Business and Climate Summit

In response to the disappointing outcome of the Business and Climate Summit, Céline Charveriat, Oxfam International’s Director of Advocacy and Campaigns said:

 “The Business and Climate Summit was an opportunity for companies to lead by example, and though several did show willing, it was not nearly enough to champion the urgent action needed to help combat climate change.

“Companies not only need to put pressure on governments to reach an agreement at the COP21 in Paris that will deliver for the millions affected by climate change, they also need to address their own climate footprints in order for their advocacy to be credible. It is crucial for them to take the lead on the road to Paris by making strong commitments, such as establishing science-based reduction targets, committing to 100% renewable electricity goals, and implementing comprehensive adaptation strategies that apply across their value chains.

"The food and beverage sector in particular has much to lose from climate change, with farmers bearing the brunt of those losses and the fight against poverty hanging in the balance. Of the Big 10 food and beverage companies included in Oxfam’s Behind the Brands campaign, a few have made significant commitments to reduce their supply chain emissions, some are taking steps to address smallholder resilience, but only a handful are advocating for a strong deal at COP21. Now is the time for the sector to stand together and collectively do far more.

“According to climate experts, over 80% of current fossil fuels reserves should remain unused in order to limit average global warming to 2°C. Governments have to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies, ensuring protections are in place for the poorest people. In addition, if we are to efficiently mitigate climate change, both governments and companies must take action to phase out fossil fuels, starting in developed countries, to reduce energy consumption and to invest in the development of renewable energies.”

Notes to editors: 

The Business and Climate Summit was held in Paris, May 20-21 2015.

Contact information: 

Sarah Roussel, in Paris, on +33 (0) 1 77 35 76 10 / +33 (0) 6 51 15 54 38 / sroussel@oxfamfrance.org

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