COP28 appeal

Companies urge rapid phasing out of fossil fuels

Diageo and Iberdrola, owner of ScottishPower, are among those calling for action

Big businesses including Diageo, Heineken and ScottishPower owner Iberdrola are urging world leaders to reach agreement at the COP28 Climate Summit to phase out coal, oil, and gas production.

A letter signed by 128 companies warns that their operations are already feeling the impacts and costs of climate change.

They want those attending the summit next month in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates to instigate firm action to phase out fossil fuels.

The companies, who also include Hewlett Packard, Ikea, JLL and Vodafone, collectively account for nearly $1trillion in global annual revenue, say world leaders need to set clear targets and timelines to be backed up with policies enable the rapid scaling of clean energy.

The letter, coordinated by the We Mean Business Coalition, a business-focused non-profit organisation working to accelerate climate action globally, states: “Our businesses are feeling the impacts and cost of increasing extreme weather events resulting from climate change. […]

“To decarbonise the global energy system, we need to ramp up clean energy as fast as we phase out the use and production of fossil fuels. This means turbocharging the renewables revolution, electrifying key sectors and massively improving efficiency — thereby creating the conditions for a rapid, well-managed and just transition away from fossil fuels. […]

“We call on all parties attending COP28 to seek outcomes that will lay the groundwork to transform the global energy system towards a full phase-out of unabated fossil fuels and halve emissions this decade.”

The signatories of the letter represent many sectors, including power, road transport, health, tech, logistics, consumer goods and more; and include multinationals and SMEs.

It states that the transition to net zero ‘could boost global GDP by 4% by 2030’ and calls on the collective efforts of financial institutions, fossil fuel producers and policymakers to work with business to deliver decarbonisation securely and efficiently.

Signatories also highlight their support for a tripling of renewable energy capacity – agreed by G20 leaders in September – urging a global target of at least 11,000GW alongside the doubling of the rate of energy efficiency by 2030.

The letter is organised by the We Mean Business Coalition and supported by partners including BSR, CDP, Ceres, Climate Group, CLG Europe, The B Team, WBCSD, CLG UK, Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL), WWF, Exponential Roadmap Initiative, Global Renewables Alliance and UNICEF.

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