Global Climate Action Summit Advisory Committee Chair Challenges Investors to Act on Climate

New York City — Kicking off the 2018 Investor Summit on Climate Risk in New York City this week, Ceres CEO and President Mindy S. Lubber called on investors worldwide to accelerate and scale up actions that are necessary to curb climate change and achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement.

“Climate change presents perilous risks but also boundless opportunities,” Lubber said at a recent meeting of 450 investor, company, and capital market leaders. “With ambitious actions, like the ones laid out in The Investor Agenda, we can address those risks and seize those opportunities.”

The Investor Agenda ­-- developed by Asia Investor Group on Climate Change, CDP, Ceres, Investor Group on Climate Change, Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change, Principles for Responsible Investment and UNEP Finance Initiative -- challenges investors to step up climate action in four key focus areas including Investment, Corporate Engagement, Disclosure and Policy Advocacy. Examples of investor climate actions must include: shifting investments to low-carbon industries, engaging with companies to push for science-based emissions reduction targets, disclosing climate-based data and information and engaging with policy-makers and governments to ensure a smooth transition to a clean economy. 

This week’s announcement follows a recent challenge from Summit co-chair Christiana Figueres at PRI in Person last year to push investors to dedicate at least 1 percent of their assets to climate-friendly clean technology and renewable energy investments by 2020. Last week, Summit co-chair Anand Mahindra challenged companies around the world to do more to decarbonize, including adopting science-based emissions targets.

The 2018 Global Climate Action Summit, hosted in San Francisco September 12 to 14, will bring together state and local governments, business, and citizens from around the world to showcase climate action taking place, thereby demonstrating how the tide has turned in the race against climate change and inspiring deeper national commitments in support of the Paris Agreement.

To prevent the climate from warming more than 2 degrees Celsius—the point of potentially catastrophic consequence—worldwide emissions must start trending down by 2020 and the Summit will play a key role in galvanizing the support necessary to make that happen

The Summit will showcase climate action around the world, along with bold new commitments, to give world leaders the confidence they can go even further by 2020, starting from when they meet at the United Nations COP24 in November.

For more information on this Summit challenge, and the Investor Summit generally, take a look at this Storify report.

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Global Climate Action Summit Leader Anand Mahindra Issues New Climate Challenge to Corporations

In an effort to spur further climate action at this year’s Global Climate Action Summit (Summit) in September and at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP24) in December, Summit co-chair and Mahindra Group Chairman, Anand Mahindra today challenged businesses around the world to join the growing number of companies committed to setting greenhouse gas reduction targets in line with climate science.

“I commit that the Mahindra Group will implement the Paris Agreement in its entirety,” said Mr. Mahindra, Mahindra Group Chairman. “A powerful way of ensuring corporate climate action, aligned with the ambition of the Paris Agreement, is by setting science-based targets. I applaud all 330+ companies that have already committed to set science-based targets through the Science Based Targets initiative. Two of the three Mahindra companies with the highest emissions in the Group, Tech Mahindra and Mahindra Sanyo Special Steel, have already done so. Today, I am inviting all companies, particularly those that emit the most, to commit to set science-based targets. Over the course of 2018, I will be working to expand the adoption of science-based targets not only across the Mahindra Group, but amongst my business colleagues so that by the Global Climate Action Summit in September, 500 companies step up and commit to set science-based targets.”

“When corporations curb greenhouse gas pollution it helps inspire nations to go further than agreed under Paris,” said California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. and Summit co-chair. “Mr. Mahindra’s challenge to companies will help kick off a new wave of climate action around the world.”

More than 330 of the world’s biggest companies have already committed to align their strategies with the ambition of the Paris Agreement through the Science Based Targets initiative. Almost 900 more companies have declared their ambition to set science-based targets within the next two years in their disclosures to the CDP, signaling the emergence of a ‘new normal’ in the way businesses are developing their strategies for the future. Mahindra Sanyo Special Steel Pvt. Ltd. set a science-based Greenhouse Gas emission reduction target of 35% under SCOPE 1, 2 and 3 per ton of steel produced by the year 2030, against 2016 baseline year.

A key purpose of the 2018 Global Climate Action Summit, which will be held from September 12-14 in San Francisco, is to showcase climate action around the world, along with bold new commitments, to give worldwide leaders the confidence they need to go even further by 2020, starting from when they meet at the United Nations COP24 in November.

Summit participants, including sub national governments, investors, businesses and others from around the world, will report on their climate action and commit to ambitious new actions that can help prevent the climate from warming more than 2 degrees Celsius—the point at which scientists warn of potentially catastrophic global consequences. 

“Setting science-based targets is a great way for businesses to future-proof growth and boost their competitive advantage in the transition to a low-carbon economy. It also sends a powerful signal to global governments that business is aligning strategy with the Paris Agreement, opening the way for us all to move further, faster on the ambition of the Agreement. We welcome the challenge to business to step up in advance of the Global Climate Action Summit by committing to the Science Based Targets initiative, and we hope that many businesses will quickly follow Mahindra's lead,” said Paul Simpson, CEO of CDP, one of the partners of the Science Based Targets initiative.

Today’s announcement is the first of what will be multiple “Summit Challenges” that will concretely help deliver greenhouse gas reductions to help ensure worldwide emissions start trending downward no later than 2020—a goal that must be met to prevent dangerous temperature rise. It will also help the Summit deliver on its goal to help continue a worldwide energy transition that generates quality employment and inclusive economic growth.

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About Mahindra Group’s climate leadership
Mahindra aims to build an enduring business while rejuvenating the environment and enabling stakeholders to Rise. It has been the first in the world to commit to doubling energy productivity. To enable strong climate action, Mahindra companies have implemented carbon pricing and adopted science based targets. While the Group has a strong track record in adopting renewable energy, it makes a greater contribution to the cause through its businesses in setting up solar mini grids, making electric cars, commercial vehicles and scooters, enabling shared mobility, building green buildings, helping farmers adopt micro-irrigation, enabling responsible recycling of automobiles and converting waste to energy. These businesses enable many other corporations and thousands of individuals to join the crusade against climate change. The Group’s climate leadership is reflected in its 10 year-long sustainability reporting journey and the recognition it receives from diverse stakeholders who are united by the common cause of combatting climate change. Learn more about Mahindra on www.mahindra.com / Twitter and Facebook: @MahindraRise

About the Science Based Targets initiative
The Science Based Targets initiative mobilizes companies to set science-based targets and boost their competitive advantage in the transition to the low-carbon economy. It is a collaboration between CDP, World Resources Institute (WRI), the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), and the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) and one of the We Mean Business Coalition commitments. The initiative defines and promotes best practice in science-based target setting, offers resources and guidance to reduce barriers to adoption, and independently assesses and approves companies’ targets.

For more information visit:www.sciencebasedtargets.org  and follow on Twitter at: @sciencetargets

About the We Mean Business Coalition
We Mean Business is a global coalition of nonprofit organizations working with the world’s most influential businesses to take action on climate change. The coalition brings together seven organizations, BSRCDPCeresThe B TeamThe Climate GroupThe Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. Together we catalyze business action to drive policy ambition and accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy.

Find out more at wemeanbusinesscoaltion.org.

Governor Brown Welcomes Co-Chairs from Around the World for Global Climate Action Summit

Governor Brown welcomes Global Climate Action Summit co-chairs UNFCCC Executive Secretary Espinosa (left), Bloomberg (second from left) and Mahindra (far right).

Governor Brown welcomes Global Climate Action Summit co-chairs UNFCCC Executive Secretary Espinosa (left), Bloomberg (second from left) and Mahindra (far right).

Patricia Espinosa, Anand Mahindra and Michael Bloomberg to co-chair summit on climate action.

NEW YORK - Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today announced that Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Patricia Espinosa, United Nations Secretary-General's Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change Michael Bloomberg and Mahindra Group Chairman Anand Mahindra will co-chair the Global Climate Action Summit from September 12 to 14, 2018 in San Francisco, California.

"If we all work together, humanity can rise to the existential threat of climate change," said Governor Brown. "Three really strong leaders - Patricia Espinosa, Anand Mahindra and Michael Bloomberg - have the imagination and the will to build this summit into a worldwide movement of people taking action to curb climate change." 

"I am delighted to be one of the co-chairs of the California Summit where, next year, we have an opportunity to move the needle further and faster towards the swift realization of the goals of the Paris Agreement. Together I believe Governor Brown, Anand Mahindra, Michael Bloomberg and myself can bring together the necessary worlds of sub-national governments, business and international policy- making to ensure the Summit delivers on its ambition," said Espinosa.

"Cities, states and businesses are leading the way on climate change because they understand the economic and health benefits of action," said Bloomberg. "After President Trump announced U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, we created a new effort - "America's Pledge" - to keep our nation on track to uphold our commitment. The Global Climate Action Summit in California next year is a great opportunity to find new ways for governments and businesses to work together toward that goal."

"There is a remarkable congruity between the goals of the Indian Government, Governor Jerry Brown and businesses like the Mahindra Group. India is driven by a strong belief at the highest political level that pursuing environmental stability is the only way to go. As a result, India has set extremely ambitious targets in the area of renewable resources and is actually ahead of schedule in meeting some of these. Governor Brown, of course, has always been passionate and ahead of the curve on all matters environmental. And in my business, we are driven by the belief that sustainability is a business opportunity as well as a way to make work meaningful for our young Millennials. So, from all angles, I am delighted to be one of the co-chairs of the California Climate Summit and look forward to continuing the momentum set in motion by the Paris Agreement," said Mahindra.

While national governments negotiated the Paris Agreement, its goal - to limit the increase in global temperature to under 2 degrees Celsius - can only be achieved if subnational state and local leaders, businesses, scientists, students, nonprofits, and others step up. The Summit, bringing together people from all walks of life, will showcase the surge of climate action around the world - and make the case that even more must be done. 

The Summit will also help strengthen the push for greater emissions reduction targets at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change's 24th Conference of the Parties (COP 24) in December 2018. At COP 24, leaders will begin to set goals for the 5-year period that starts in 2020. A groundswell of climate action from the Summit will show that national leaders can, and must, further decarbonize the economy.

Governor Brown also announced the leadership of the Summit Steering Committee, which he will co-chair with former UNFCCC Executive Secretary and Global Ambassador for the Under2 CoalitionChristiana Figueres. The Committee, which will support the Summit by advising on the agenda and mobilizing their constituencies before and during the Summit, is represented by: The Climate Group CEO Helen Clarkson; BSR President and CEO Aron Cramer; Climate Action Network International Executive Director Wael Hmaidan; Ceres President and CEO Mindy Lubber; WWF International Climate and Energy Practice Leader and former President of COP 20 Manuel Pulgar-Vidal; and C40 Executive Director Mark Watts, with support by Mission 2020, an initiative led by Figueres.

"Climate change is the major opportunity we have to modernize our transport, our energy generation and efficiency, to become more energy independent, to clean our air, to improve land-use, to create jobs, and to have more liveable cities. The 2018 Global Climate Action Summit is everyone's chance to step up and be part of this fantastic, exponential growth story. Congratulations to the summit co-chairs, who will be critical to ensuring that the Summit delivers bold new commitments from across the globe that put us firmly on track to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, and net zero emissions being achieved by 2050. Let's leave no-one behind," said Figueres.

Governor Brown announced the Summit at the Global Citizen Festival in Hamburg, Germany in July. The Summit will be the first time a U.S. state convenes people from around the world to support the Paris Agreement.

In June, Governor Brown was named Special Advisor for States and Regions ahead of this year's UN Climate Change Conference (COP 23) by Fiji's Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama - incoming president of COP 23. This followed meetings with China's President Xi Jinping during the Governor's week-long trip to China and with Germany's top environmental official, Minister Barbara Hendricks, in San Francisco.

Governor Brown continues to build strong coalitions of partners committed to curbing carbon pollution in both the United States through the U.S. Climate Alliance and around the globe with the Under2 Coalition. The Governor also launched America's Pledge on climate change with Michael Bloomberg earlier this year to help compile and quantify the actions of states, cities and businesses in the United States to drive down their greenhouse gas emissions consistent with the goals of the Paris Agreement. 

In November, Governor Brown will take part in a number of international events in Europe focused on fighting global warming, including a climate symposium organized by the Vatican and this year's United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 23) in Bonn, Germany. 


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Statement From the 2018 Global Climate Action Summit Steering Committee

As members of the Steering Committee for the 2018 Global Climate Action Summit, we thank the Governor of California, Jerry Brown, and the Co-Chairs of the Summit –  Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change; Michael Bloomberg, UN Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change; and Anand Mahindra, Chairman and Managing Director of the Mahindra Group – for their determined leadership.

The Summit is a galvanizing opportunity for global businesses, investors, states and regions, cities, civil society, and citizens to showcase and deliver bold new action on climate change. The summit will take place in September 2018 directly before world leaders gather in Poland at COP24 to take stock of progress toward meeting the long-term goal of the historic Paris Agreement. It is during this moment that governments need to signal their intent to raise the ambition of their current national climate pledges, which are currently insufficient to meet the overall objectives of the Paris Agreement.

In service of this objective, we will engage our diverse constituencies and stakeholders in the lead-up to the Summit to demonstrate that urgent climate action is necessary, desirable, and achievable and that we are already reducing global emissions by 2020 to meet the Sustainable Development Goals to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all.

We will strive to ensure that progress in the real economy and actions delivered at the Summit empower world leaders to step up and commit to enhancing their climate action by 2020, putting the world on a safer and more prosperous path, while seizing substantial economic and development benefits for all.

A better future is calling, and we need everyone to participate. The world is ready to go further to deliver on the Paris goal of limiting global temperature rises to well below 2ºC. We urge every business, city, state or region, civil society, community group, faith-based organization, school, hospital from all over the world to plan now how they can accelerate their own decarbonization plans, and articulate what actions they can bring to the Summit in September 2018.

The time to define the future is now. Let’s step up together in California and be the change we want to see.

  • Helen Clarkson, CEO, The Climate Group
  • Aron Cramer, President and CEO, BSR
  • Wael Hmaidan, Executive Director, CAN International
  • Mindy Lubber, President, Ceres
  • Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, Leader, Climate & Energy, WWF International
  • Mark Watts, Executive Director, C40
  • Elizabeth Cousens, Deputy CEO, United Nations Foundation (Steering Committee Observer)
  • James Grabert, Director of Sustainable Development Mechanisms, UNFCCC (Steering Committee Observer)
  • Andrew Higham, CEO, Mission 2020 (Steering Committee Coordinator)