December 1, 2015
World leaders have gathered in Paris for the UN Climate Conference (aka COP21), with the goal of negotiating an agreement to reduce dangerous levels of carbon. More than 150 countries have shown up with their own Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC), greenhouse gas reduction goals they’ve pledged to achieve by 2025
We need leaders to be ambitious in their commitment to policies and regulations that will clear the way for a rapid transition to a clean energy future while rapidly phasing out of fossil fuels. But governments can’t go it alone.
That’s why leaders, like President Obama, are recruiting forward thinking businesses to back up country-level commitments in Paris. Last July, the American Business Act on Climate Change launched to rally businesses to embrace science-based climate and energy goals that are consistent with the kinds of pledges being made by countries in their INDCs. 13 visionary companies, including Apple and Google, signed onto the pledge’s first round.
As of this week, over 150 companies have joined in, amounting to over $7 trillion in market capitalization. That’s a lot of added investment in the long-term commitments needed to make a real difference on climate change. At Ben & Jerry’s, we’ve added our own commitments to the mix, making even more aggressive, science-based goals that are in line with the US’s own INDC. Here’s what we’ve got planned:
- Reduce greenhouse gas emissions, per unit of production, by 40%, compared to a 2014 baseline, by 2025
- Transition to 100% clean and renewable energy by 2025, with a mix of both onsite and offsite sources
- To peak absolute emissions in 2026, despite aggressive growth projections
- Increase investments in building climate-resiliency in our supply chain by $10 million by 2025
- Develop long-term business strategies to achieve our science-based, mid-century goal to keep global average temperature rise below 2ºC
We’re happy to say we’re in good, ahem, company. With businesses like our parent company Unilever, Starbucks, Nike and Levi also on board, we’re pretty excited to be adding the power of business to the negotiations in Paris. And it’s not just the American Business Act on Climate Change; we’ve also joined 16,000 other companies in signing onto the Ceres BICEP climate declaration, a business coalition dedicated to pushing for long-term solutions domestically, and at the COP21. Stay tuned for more updates from Paris as we track the Climate Summit and what comes next.
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