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“Paris” has already triggered many great new initiatives that will change climate change policy and industry dynamics in the decade to come, such as the “We Mean Business” coalition. To add on to this discussion, we now share the reasons for why business should follow the Paris process, as outlined by Ecofys consultants. They argue that the “intended nationally determined contributions” (INDCS) offer vital information on new opportunities in emerging markets in the low-carbon sector.

For example, a proper analysis of countries’ INDCs can help companies decide whether they want to pursue an investment in China where a nationwide emission trading market can come into effect. INDC’s can also help companies find out what type of climate finance they could tap into in the future. Furthermore, they may be a good starting point for uniting the public and private sector. For example, in June, major oil and gas companies, such as Shell, BP, and Total, issued a call to governments around the world and to the UNFCCC to introduce carbon-pricing systems and to support the connection of national systems. Businesses are the ones asking governments to provide a clear and stable carbon-pricing framework, instead of governments telling them what to do. While this proactivity may just be “green publicity”, it is unprecedented and it may be a good starting point for more private-public partnerships.

Moreover, if business does take climate change seriously, their initiatives could bridge a considerable part—30 to 45 percent— of the gap between national pledges and what is actually needed to stay on track for not exceeding the 2° C temperature increase. In other words, we need actions from both government and business to prevent the more irreversible consequences of going beyond a 2° C temperature increase— and it makes business sense for companies to jump on the bandwagon soon.

 

Sources:

Neelis, M. and de Vos, H. (2015, June 11). Four reasons for business to follow the Paris process. Ecofys. Retrieved from http://www.ecofys.com/en/blog/four-reasons-for-business-to-follow-the-paris-process/

Shell Global. (2015, June 1). Oil and gas majors call for carbon pricing. News and Media Releases. Retrieved from http://www.shell.com/global/aboutshell/investor/news-and-library/2015/oil-and-gas-majors-call-for-carbon-pricing.html

Picture from Reuters. Retrieved from http://www.wsj.com/articles/oil-industry-takes-aim-at-coal-pushes-gas-ahead-of-climate-change-talks-1433258932