Global CEOs urge G7 leaders to step up climate action


Big global companies are pushing world leaders to step up action to tackle climate change at the G7 summit in Germany this weekend, calling for large-scale carbon pricing and measures to boost demand for clean technologies .

In an open letter ahead of the three-day rally that begins Sunday in the Bavarian resort of Schloss Elmau, more than a dozen heads of big business, including Bank of America and Shell, called for ambitious climate policies from the government. that provide the private sector with clarity”. and stability”.

“Once companies can be confident of a stable and predictable policy environment with well-established goals, we will do everything in our power to help society achieve this,” they wrote.

The companies have come together under the Sustainable Markets Initiative, which was announced by the Prince of Wales in Davos in 2020 and now has more than 400 global chief executives among its members.

At the summit, the G7 will grapple with the aftermath of the war in Ukraine, including the turmoil it has caused in global energy markets. European countries, including Germany, are increasing their use of coal power to conserve gas reserves after Russia cut supplies.

But SMI members said the Ukraine crisis should not undermine efforts to phase out the use of thermal coal, the dirtiest fossil fuel, which SMI says should be banned in advanced countries. here 2030 and globally by 2040.

“Obviously we face a short term challenge, but over time it is a meaningful and achievable goal,” they said.

German Chancellor and G7 Chairman Olaf Scholz promised last week that the summit would demonstrate that major democracies uniting against Russian aggression “are no less committed to the fight against hunger and poverty. , and in the fight against health crises and climate change”.

Governments are coming under increasing public pressure on climate policy from companies who fear continued uncertainty about future regulations and face intense scrutiny of their progress towards ambitious net-zero emissions targets.

Bank of America and other leading US financial institutions have recently faced unsuccessful shareholder campaigns seeking to block their financing of fossil fuel projects.

Energy companies also face skepticism about the pace of their green transition. Last month, 20% of Shell shareholders voted for a resolution saying its climate plan was not aligned with the 2015 Paris agreement, which aims to keep global warming well below 2°C.

The SMI letter had a strong focus on carbon pricing, calling on governments to pursue emissions pricing that would increase over time. He said a carbon price of $30 to $70 would destroy the economics of coal investment, while anything above $120 would spur investment in technologies such as direct air capture, which removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

The intervention comes amid political efforts around carbon pricing on both sides of the Atlantic. This month, Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse introduced a bill that would create a carbon tax on imports, initially set at $55 per ton of associated carbon dioxide emissions.

This week, members of the European Parliament agreed on a plan to impose a similar carbon tax on imports and extend the EU’s emissions trading system – which currently covers Europe. energy, heavy industry and aviation – to a wider range of national sectors.

The SMI letter also called on governments for “demand-driven policies”, such as a fixed end date for the sale of gasoline-powered cars and requirements for sustainable fuel use by airlines.

If the G7 and other governments “can work with the private sector to help accelerate our progress, we can do so,” says the letter, whose signatories included leaders from BP, EY, PwC, State Street and the group. Mahindra.


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