BBVA Chair Carlos Torres Vila, alongside other leaders of major global companies, has signed a statement calling on world leaders and participants at the Sharm El Sheikh United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 27) to commit convincingly to a just transition. "This transition needs a radical rethinking of how we do business," explains the statement from the Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders promoted by the World Economic Forum (WEF).
The Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders is the largest global community of businesspeople in the world. Its goal is to gradually reinforce climate action in all sectors. In addition, the Alliance seeks to involve policymakers in aiding the transition to a zero-emission economy, with the aim of cutting emissions by half by 2030 and achieving net zero by 2050.
The statement encourages leaders to set science-based goals to speed up the transition, and calls on peers to join forces to cooperate across industries and value chains. The objective is to promote transparency, advocacy and action through partnerships and initiatives, and align their collective efforts to arrive at globally-aligned standards to accurately measure and compare progress against ambitious targets.
COP 27 as an opportunity for change
In its statement, the Alliance emphasizes that “the crisis is a stark reminder of the fragile nature of the current energy and food systems, which are still dominated by fossil fuels.” The CEOs call on leaders at COP 27 to grasp the opportunity “to make this a historic turning point towards cleaner, more affordable and secure energy and food systems."
In addition, the Alliance calls on governments to establish plans and policies to comply with the Paris Agreement and reach zero net emissions by 2050, to accelerate the transition with initiatives that facilitate green finance, and to invest in climate change mitigation by adapting infrastructure and using more sustainable materials.
The statement urges governments to "ensure that developed countries meet and exceed their $100 billion commitment and that these funds go directly to supporting developing countries’ efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change,” because the Alliance believes “this is fundamental to establishing and maintaining confidence between countries to tackle the climate crisis together.”
To achieve this, the business leaders propose to streamline regulations so as to speed up solutions, provide incentives for sectors to undertake the transition and phase out subsidies for fossil fuels, while investing in conversion and improvement of jobs affected by the transition.
The members of the Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders have committed to “reducing emissions by more than 1 gigatons annually by 2030 and have, on average, reduced scope 1 and 2 emissions by 22% from 2019-2020 levels.”
About the Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders
The World Economic Forum (WEF) Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders, formed by 124 CEOs and other business figures, meets twice a year to exchange ideas and best practices and reach consensus. Open to companies from any country and sector of activity, this community aims to drive change in all supply chains. The companies in the Alliance employ 8.9 million people across 26 countries, and account for more than $6 trillion in market capitalization.
The 27th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 27) will be held November 6 to 18, 2022 in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, with a focus on renewing and extending the pledges under the Paris Agreement.