RIYADH: More than 600 business leaders have called on the G20 bloc of the world’s biggest economies to end support for coal and halve emissions by 2030.
The call comes as the Covid-19 pandemic alerts governments to build greener and more equitable economies, report agencies.
Together, the 600 companies represent more than $2.5 trillion in revenue and more than 8.5 million employees, and are calling for mandatory climate-related financial disclosure of risks, among other steps.
“Our businesses recognise the benefits of climate action,” the signatories said in the letter, which comes a month before G20 leaders meet in Rome and the Cop26 climate talks begin. “The right policy decisions taken today can drive further investments and spur business decisions in favour of climate solutions across G20 countries.”
Cop26, which will begin on October 31 and run for two weeks, will bring together world leaders, climate experts, business leaders and thousands of delegates from around the globe to Glasgow to discuss steps to achieve a zero-carbon future by 2050.
Among the calls from the 600 business leaders in their letter to G20 was an immediate end to new coal power development and financing with plans for phasing out coal-fired power generation by 2030 for advanced economies and by 2040 for other countries.
“It’s essential that governments take confidence from this letter – the biggest and most ambitious call for policy action from business that we’ve seen – and step up their climate action plans,” said María Mendiluce, chief executive of the We Mean Business Coalition, which co-ordinated the letter.
The letter, which will be open for companies to sign over the coming month, also calls for scaling up electrification of transport and renewable energy across sectors, including removing barriers to corporate purchasing of 100 per cent renewable electricity to “enable companies to go quicker in their clean energy transition”.