Business Leaders at COP21

A coalition of business leaders has challenged negotiators at COP 21 to limit warming to 1.5 degrees. The corporate leaders, members and supporters of the B Team, a coalition of chief executives from Virgin, Marks and Spencer, Puma, L'Oreal and Unilever, were unanimous in their demand that governments should aim for a stronger target than the agreed goal of 2C.

“We believe that net zero by 2050 would at least get us to 2 degrees, leaving the door open for further reduction to 1.5, which should be something we should be looking at in the future,” said Jochen Zeitz, the former chief executive of Puma and founder with Richard Branson of the B Team. “We believe the business case for net zero in 2050 is irrefutable,” Zeitz told a seminar on Sunday.

“We just need governments to set some rules,”  argued Richard Branson, a long time climate change leader. “Carbon neutral by 2050, we will have 35 years to get there. It’s actually just not that big a deal, but we need clear long-term goals set by governments this week. Give us that goal and we will make it happen.”

On the sidelines of the Paris talks, Elon Musk, another business climate leader, called for a phased-in carbon price, which he believes would halve the time it took the world to transition to clean energy, something that would make a huge difference to dangerous climate change.

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