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Don't hold your breath on emissions ceiling

LONDON: November 16, 2015. A new study of business leaders, governments, academia and civil society actors from 69 countries says 92 percent of respondents think this month's UN climate summit in Paris will result in agreement, although reaching a 2C emissions ceiling is considered "virtually non-existent".

The Sustainability/Climate Group/Globescan survey predicts corporations will be key to the success of climate change action after the summit ends in December, although only 32 percent of respondents believe any agreement will have binding powers.

apple singaporeOver 600 experts were asked which companies are leaders in climate change with Unilever seen as having made the largest contribution to advancing solutions to climate change in the last five years.

Some 82 percent of the respondents think removing fossil fuel subsidies is the most effective economic instrument to contain global warming.

Eighty-six percent of experts say the private sector will play an "important" or "very important" role, and 90 percent believe the same to be true for national governments.

Eric Whan, Sustainability director at GlobeScan said the U.N. membership is not expected to deliver a result that scientists say is needed: "Meanwhile, expectations are high that solutions will flow from the private sector almost as much as from national governments post-Paris, whatever the outcome."

Aiste Brackley, research manager at SustainAbility noted: "The landscape of corporate leadership is dominated by technology and consumer companies that have been at the forefront of investing in renewable energy and low carbon solutions – and being vocal about their initiatives on the global stage."

Greenpeace added that Apple will power its data center, offices and upcoming store in Singapore with 100 percent solar energy beginning in 2016. Singapore is a rapidly growing hub for data centers, making Apple's solar deal an important breakthrough for the whole of Southeast Asia, said the activist.

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