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Expectations high for business to take lead post-COP21

Experts predict that business will be key to the success of climate change action post-COP21 Summit in Paris next month, according to the findings from a new study exploring leadership on climate change.

Whilst a significant majority (92%) of experts are confident that the UN conference on Climate Change will result in a global agreement, only 32% believe that it will have binding powers.

Confidence in the ability of governments to agree on a framework in Paris that would reduce emissions in line with the 2C target is virtually non-existent (4%) and the removal of subsidies for fossil fuels (82%) was rated the most effective economic instrument to contain global warming.

The GlobeScan/SustainAbility Survey is one the longest-running expert surveys on sustainability-related topics of its kind. For the 2015 Climate Survey, expert stakeholders representing business, governments, NGOs, and academia shared their expectations for the COP21 meeting in Paris and provided insights about the role of various actors and climate change strategies post-2015.

Scientific institutions and civil society are seen making the largest contribution to advancing climate change with more than half of all respondents viewing their record positively.

The future contribution of national governments and business will be key to the implementation of the post-Paris framework. Eighty six percent (86%) of experts predict that the private sector will play an “important” or “very important” role, and 90% of respondents believe the same to be true for national governments. However, gaps between recent performance and future expectation mean that both institutions will have to step up their efforts.

Eric Whan, sustainability director at GlobeScan, commented: “The convening parties, the UN and its national members, are not expected to deliver a result that the science says we need at Paris. Meanwhile, expectations are high that solutions will flow from the private sector almost as much as from national governments post-Paris, whatever the outcome. The pressure is on, and the companies that get this right will be the ones thriving 20 years from now.”

Access the full report here

Global | Climate change


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