Davos: Business Leaders Urge Climate Deal

by | Jan 27, 2015

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Business leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos are urging governments to reach a climate change agreement at the UN Climate Change Conference, which will take place in Paris in December.

“This is the year to make a big climate deal in Paris,” Feike Sijbesma, chief executive of DSM, a Dutch nutrition and materials company, told the New York Times. “We need to push further awareness, we need to put a price on carbon.”

And at a panel discussion on Friday, corporate leaders called on governments to set goals to spur companies into action, the New York Times reports.

“We do need a price for carbon,” said Paul Polman, chief executive of Unilever, who was on the panel. “If you don’t price what you value, you don’t get people to react. That’s unfortunately our financial system.”

Some companies are already taking actions to reduce their carbon footprints.

DSM, which was also on the panel, is reducing its greenhouse gas emissions, improving efficiency in its factories, and creating products that use less water, according to the New York Times.

And Unilever — a “low-carbon leader” highlighted in Corporate Citizenship’s report the Low-Carbon Company, which makes the business case for decarbonization — is using packaging that uses 15 percent less plastic and said 100 percent of palm oil sourced for its European foods business would be traceable and certified sustainable by the end of 2014.

These initiatives are part of Unilever’s goal to halve its environmental footprint while doubling its size by 2020.


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