In 2015 COP21, also known as the 2015 Paris Climate Conference, will, for the first time in over 20 years of UN negotiations, aim to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement on climate, with the aim of keeping global warming below 2°C.
France will play a leading international role in hosting this seminal conference, and COP21 will be one of the largest international conferences ever held in the country. The conference is expected to attract close to 50,000 participants including 25,000 official delegates from government, intergovernmental organisations, UN agencies, NGOs and civil society.
During Paris Climate Week global business leaders reaffirmed their commitment to supporting the transition to a clean energy future- an integral element in reaching a meaningful agreement at COP21 this December.
Making drastic energy efficiency improvements is vital in achieving this low carbon vision. Recognised by Deutche Bank as the ‘first fuel’, increased investment in energy efficiency will not only saves money and carbon dioxide but also drive green economic growth, creating skilled jobs and new business opportunities.
- Average market returns from investing in energy efficiency could reach up to 17%
- Buildings present the greatest opportunity for improved energy efficiency, responsible for 40% of a country’s energy use
- By 2030, improved energy efficiency in buildings and industry has the potential to save the equivalent electricity output of 1,300 power plants
- The private sector is increasingly seeing the value of investing in supply chain efficiency, as improving the energy performance of global operations begins to make both environmental and business sense.
During the webinar about Improving Private Sector Energy Efficiency (see video below) were united business leaders to discuss the role of the private sector in integrating energy efficiency measures into business models, considering the financial impact of undertaking such measures and policies that would support greater implementation.
Obviously, the main aim for companies is making a profit, however, they have several reasons for taking action on climate change. Wayne Sharpe, the founder & Chairman of Carbon Trade Exchange during the webinar about Business Action on Climate Change: Navigating Carbon Reduction Pathways defined some of these reasons:
- Prepare for increase in regulation requirements: It will save companies time and money
- Employee retention and smarter recruitment: People are more aware about how companies are dealing with environmental impacts. Therefore, companies that have employees committed to the highest ethical standards will build an organisation with strong moral principle.
As COP21 approaches, businesses are being urged to take increasingly ambitious climate action, with Christiana Figueres recently stating ‘corporations can definitely work out how they can go carbon neutral’.
The webinars showed us that companies could do better.