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  • Paris Agreement reached: now to build a low carbon economy

    An historic climate change agreement has been reached at COP21 in Paris, hailed by The Climate Group and its business partners as "a victory for science and vision which calls time on the fossil fuel age and charts us firmly on course for a clean industrial revolution."

    Mark Kenber, CEO of The Climate Group, said: “It gives us the long term climate goal we wanted, and a clear roadmap on how to get there. This gives policymakers, businesses and investors the certainty they need to move ahead and build a low carbon economy."

    In the run up to Paris, businesses demonstrated their support for an ambitious and robust climate deal and for shifting the global energy market to renewables. 53 companies have joined the RE100 campaign and committed to using 100% renewable electricity across their own operations. Today's agreement will necessarily see many more making such commitments in the future.

    “This agreement will allow them to go further and faster in their own ambitious plans and policies, and ensure that the transition to the new, smart economy is a swift one", said Kenber. 

    "This is only the beginning of the journey and opportunity. Imagine what can now be achieved by these leaders with a global deal that supports and encourges them to go even further."

    Earlier this week The Climate Group and CDP released new figures showing huge potential impact of more and more companies switching to renewables. The groups estimate that if all businesses were 100% powered by renewable electricity, they would save nearly 15% of global carbon emissions.

    RE100 companies have welcomed today's agreement in Paris.

    Hannah Jones, Chief Sustainability Officer, and VP, Innovation Accelerator at NIKE, Inc., said: "We applaud the adoption of the Paris Agreement. We hope this unprecedented and historic global alignment will not only mitigate the impacts of climate change but also incentivize innovation and support sustainable business growth and development. 

    "This agreement marks a transformative moment on the journey toward a low-carbon economy, providing the certainty and confidence businesses need to continue to pursue positive climate action." 

    Niall Dunne, Chief Sustainability Officer at BT Group, said: "At BT, we're delighted that the negotiations at COP21 have achieved this agreement and significant step towards a sustainable future. We'll continue to innovate, collaborate and scale to use the power of communications to make a better world."

    Rob Bernard, Chief Environmental Strategist at Microsoft, said: "This global commitment provides assurance and clear direction for not only national governments, but also for corporations around the world. It will help companies to move forward in accelerating their low-carbon investments and helping to build a  low-carbon global economy. 

    "It is our hope and belief that this agreement will encourage even more organizations and industries to pursue carbon-neutral commitments, policies and initiatives." 

    Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever, said: "The consequences of this agreement go far beyond the actions of governments. They will be felt in banks, stock exchanges, board rooms and research centres as the world absorbs the fact that we are embarking on an unprecedented project to decarbonise the global economy.

    "This realisation will unlock trillions of dollars and the immense creativity and innovation of the private sector who will rise to the challenge in a way that will avert the worst effects of climate change."