A group of more than 600 businesses, including some of the world’s largest companies, announced the publication of an open letter to G20 leaders, urging collective action on strengthening national climate targets, and redirecting spending in support of the global goal of limiting warming to 1.5ºC.

The campaign is being led by the We Mean Business Coalition, a group of sustainable business and investment-focused organizations including BSR, CDP, Ceres, CLG Europe, Climate Group, The B Team, and WBCSD.

G20 nations represent roughly 90% of global GDP and almost 80% of global trade and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The letter follows the recent publication by the UN backed IPCC of a landmark report, warning that the planet is at risk of failing to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement unless drastic reductions in greenhouse gas emissions are made.

In the letter, the signatories, said:

“Our businesses recognize the benefits of climate action. The right policy decisions taken today can drive further investments and spur business decisions in favour of climate solutions across G20 countries.”

The letter outlines a series of actions and commitments for the leaders of the wealthy nations, including strengthening national climate goals to cut global emissions by half by 2030, ending new coal power development and financing immediately and phasing out coal-fired power generation, and aligning public finance, COVID-19 recovery spending and fiscal policies with a 1.5°C trajectory.

According to the letter, action by the world leaders will help enable their own efforts to take climate action:

“Businesses like ours across the world are setting ambitious science-based targets, investing in climate solutions and disclosing progress towards reducing emissions. We are acting. But collectively we can do more within the right enabling environments. Heightened policy ambition from G20 Leaders will enable us to accelerate action together.”

María Mendiluce, CEO of the We Mean Business Coalition, said:

“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. Ahead of COP26, countries should renew their national plans and turn them into concrete policies as outlined in this letter. Decisive government and business action can trigger a transition of our energy system to help build a resilient, carbon-free future.”

The letter remains open for companies to sign over the coming month. Click here to read the full letter.

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