Nestlé, Mars and Unilever are among over 150 global corporations that have signed a statement urging governments around the world to align their Covid-19 economic aid and recovery efforts with the latest climate goals.
Described as the largest ever UN-backed climate advocacy effort, the campaign brings together 155 companies which are all part of the Science Based Targets initiative.
By signing the statement, the companies reaffirm their own science-based commitments to achieving net-zero carbon emissions, while calling on governments to “prioritise a faster and fairer transition from a grey to a green economy”.
The initiative was coordinated by the Science-Based Targets Initiative and its Business Ambition for 1.5°C campaign partners We Mean Business and the UN Global Compact.
As part of the initiative, the companies are calling for policies that will build resilience against future shocks by supporting efforts to hold global temperature rise to within 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, in line with reaching net-zero emissions well before 2050.
The signatories span 34 sectors and have headquarters in 33 countries. They include: Carlsberg Group, Coca-Cola European Partners, Corbion, Diageo, Nomad Foods, SIG Combibloc, Firmenich, Unilever, Tate & Lyle, Symrise and Stora Enso.
Signatories will continue to invest in recovery and resilience for a systemic socio-economic transformation and work with governments to scale up the movement.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres said: “Many companies are showing us that it is indeed possible and profitable to adopt sustainable, emission-reducing plans even during difficult times like this. I warmly welcome the ambitious, science-based actions we are seeing from leading companies who are demonstrating to policy-makers that green growth remains the best growth strategy.”
The statement comes as governments around the world are preparing packages to help economies recover from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, and as they prepare to submit enhanced national climate plans under the Paris Agreement.
“To address the interconnected crises we face, we must work together as an international community to deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement,” said Lila Karbassi, chief of programmes at the UN Global Compact, and Science Based Targets initiative board member.
Karbassi added: “As the largest ever UN-backed CEO-led climate advocacy effort, these companies are leading the way in driving ambitious science-based action and advocacy to help reduce vulnerability to future shocks and disasters.”
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