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U.S. companies and cities to ignore Trump?

LONDON: June 01, 2017. Commenting on Donald Trump's decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement on climate change, Carbon Disclosure Project CEO Paul Simpson says with or without the U.S. government, global efforts to prevent dangerous climate change will continue:

"Any country that fails to implement the Paris Agreement is increasing risk for itself, business, investors, citizens and for the world. This increases the impetus on others to act in order to protect their assets.

"There is already significant global action and momentum on tackling climate change, and the world economy's transition toward cleaner energy sources is inevitable, irreversible and already underway. China, Europe and other major emitting countries are in the process of making the shift to a low-carbon economy because they see it in their national and economic interest to do so, and this transformation cannot be easily ignored by any country on the world stage.

"Governments are not working in isolation: companies, investors, cities, states and regions are awake to the urgent need for action and are a major driving force behind the low-carbon transition. Over 260 major global corporations – including U.S. giants Dell, Kellogg Company, PepsiCo and Walmart – have joined the Science Based Targets initiative, committing to cut their emissions in line with the latest climate science to avoid dangerous global warming. Companies are driving a surge in demand for renewable energy, with Apple, Bank of America, Google and Starbucks among the growing number of influential corporations committed to 100 percent renewable power through the RE100 initiative.

"U.S. cities and states are also at the forefront of the fight against climate change. New York and California are targeting 50 percent renewable electricity generation by 2030, and they have ambitious targets in place to drastically reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. Leading cities and states are proving that huge leaps forward are possible with or without the support of the federal government.

"All of these key players in the global economy will continue taking action because they understand both the economic opportunities on offer, and the risks associated with continuing business as usual. Last year, 2,000 companies disclosing to CDP reported cost savings of US$12.4 billion as a result of emissions reduction projects, while nearly 400 cities identified over 1,000 economic opportunities from climate action. Meanwhile, our data showed that US$906 billion in annual corporate turnover is at risk because of deforestation. As the world moves closer to its zero-carbon goal, demand for sustainable investments, products and services from investors, purchasers and citizens will keep growing, further reinforcing the business case for swift and ambitious action.

"Our task at CDP remains vitally important in working with market-led forces and governments to drive change, collaboration and provide the data the world needs to manage the transition to a truly sustainable economy. We are actively supporting the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures' recommendations that will be presented to the G20 in July and would look to the G20 to use regulatory levers to ensure their implementation. Our work on carbon pricing, science-based targets and scenario-planning will ensure we continue to innovate and drive forward action on climate change for a more sustainable future."

CDP, formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project, enables companies, cities, states and regions to measure and manage their environmental impacts. The organization's network of investors and purchasers, representing over US$100 trillion, along with policy makers around the world, use its data and insights to make better-informed decisions.

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