The Paris Agreement has become a milestone as one of the fastest UN multilateral agreements to come into force in the history of the United Nations. It shows that despite rising geopolitical uncertainty, governments are more committed than ever to quick and ambitious climate action as the only way to deliver a cleaner, brighter future. And business mirrors this commitment.
Today is a day to celebrate. But the next test comes in delivering the Agreement. Business is already reducing emissions, building resilience and catalyzing investment in line with the Agreement’s long-term goals.
With the Agreement now having crossed this hurdle businesses are scaling up their commitments in order to make the vision outlined a reality.
Leaders from businesses and business groups commented:
“The entry into force of the Paris Agreement just ten months after COP21 is a defining moment for the global economy. It sends an unmistakable signal to business and investors that the global transition to a low-carbon economy is urgent, inevitable, and accelerating faster than we ever believed possible.”
Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever and Chairman of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development
“There is the world before Paris and the world after Paris. We are entering an era of system transformation. Business is already playing a leadership role through global collaboration and low carbon partnership initiatives to drive innovation and structural change. We now need to scale up and speed up the implementation of the Paris Agreement through more ambitious NDCs supported by leveraged financial resources.”
Peter Bakker, President of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development
“Successful ratification of the Paris Agreement demonstrates clearly the political will of the signatories. Now businesses are enabled to work together with governments and communities to shape the policies and take the actions necessary to transition to a low carbon future.”
Richard Lancaster, CEO of CLP
“This milestone agreement is an important step in ensuring we can maintain quality of life on our planet for future generations. Arcadis is eager to collaborate with its clients across the public and private sectors to support them in achieving the targets set out in this agreement. We can bring the detailed business and technological insights and innovative prowess to make it real.”
Neil McArthur, CEO Arcadis
“The Paris agreement represents a turning point for business. The certainty of ever stronger policies to reduce emissions creates clarity and unlocks opportunities for developing products, services and operations for a low-carbon economy. We are only at the beginning, but the pace at which countries have been ratifying the agreement shows that the policy leadership is there to achieve real change. Now we need to work together for a rapid transition to a future built on clean, renewable energy.”
Steve Howard, Chief Sustainability Officer, IKEA Group
“The Earth’s ecosystems don’t have time for politics – only science. Today, the nations of the world said they agree. With surprising speed, they have ensured that the Paris Agreement will enter into force this year. It’s an historic moment – but our work must now accelerate. Now is the time for businesses to seize the economic opportunity before them, and shift rapidly toward zero greenhouse-gas emissions to create a sustainable, clean energy economy. And to do so in a just manner that respects human rights, creates millions of new jobs, lifts millions out of poverty and reduces inequality in all its forms.”
Keith Tuffley, CEO and Managing Partner, The B Team
“With the ratification of the COP21 – Paris Treaty, the world leaders collectively embraced an accelerated transition to a low-carbon economy. For business, there is only one viable option: to co-lead this transition. Royal DSM is deeply committed to continue to combat climate change: by reducing the impact of our own operations, by enabling our customers through providing low-carbon products and solutions and by advocating and raising our voice on, among other, renewable energy and carbon pricing.”
Feike Sijbesma, CEO and Chairman of the Managing Board, Royal DSM
“Much like the adoption of the Paris Agreement itself in December last year, the entry into force of the treaty today is a truly historic moment. Few international agreements have entered into force at such speed and arguably none have been so important to our common future as the Paris Agreement. The decision by many world leaders to act quickly and boldly over the past 10 months is to be applauded. Thanks should also go to the business leaders and politicians in state and regional governments whose actions and policies, such as committing to 100% renewable power, have helped create the momentum and political belief that a better, safer and more prosperous world can be created through bold climate action.”
Damian Ryan, Acting CEO at The Climate Group
“The unprecedented speed which is driving an early entry into force of the Paris Agreement shows the huge significance of the climate challenge for governments worldwide, in spite of the political turmoil emerging across many economies.
By fast tracking its ratification of the Agreement, the EU has been pivotal to this great momentum, taking its rightful position at the forefront of climate action.
The significance of the Paris Agreement and its universal impact cannot be underestimated. The transition to a zero carbon economy is inevitable. Now is the time for companies to start preparing for a zero carbon future.”
Jill Duggan, Director of The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group (CLG)
“The Paris Agreement could go down in history as the most impactful multilateral treaty of all time. By acting with unprecedented speed to bring the agreement into force, the world’s governments have given global business a powerful signal to drive investment, innovation and growth in the zero carbon economy. And this signal will only get stronger over the next four years as countries take note of technology trends and corporate action in revising their national plans as required by the agreement.”
Nigel Topping, CEO, We Mean Business