Coalition calls on governments to align Covid-19 economic efforts with attaining net-zero emissions

WORLD – Over 150 multinational companies, including, Carlsberg, Unilever, Coca-Cola European Partners, Nestlé, Royal DSM, among others have signed a statement urging Governments around the world to align their COVID-19 economic aid and recovery efforts with the latest climate science.

Through signing the statement, a total of 155 companies reaffirmed their own science-based commitments to achieving net-zero carbon emissions and further called on governments to prioritize a faster and fairer transition from a grey to a green economy.

The initiative comes as governments around the world are preparing trillions of dollars worth of stimulus packages to help economies recover from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, and as they prepare to submit enhanced national climate plans under the Paris Agreement.

In the coming weeks, several major economies will take key decisions in their recovery efforts, including the European Union Recovery Plan, new stimulus packages from the United States of America and India, and the G7 Heads of State summit in June.

As debates on recovery packages around the world ramp up in the coming weeks, the companies, which are all part of the Science Based Targets initiatives, are calling for policies that will build resilience against future shocks by supporting efforts to hold global temperature rise to within 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, in line with reaching net-zero emissions well before 2050.

“With the coronavirus (COVID-19), we are facing a global pandemic that is devastating people and their livelihoods, disrupting supply chains, profoundly deepening inequalities and undoing progress on the Sustainable Development Goals,” the companies said in a joint statement.

“At the same time, we continue to face a global climate emergency with irreversible impacts for people and all the natural systems that sustain us. In the face of these interconnected crises, we cannot afford to tackle one or the other. Human health depends on planetary health. We can — and must — tackle both.”

Through the initiative, the 155 companies – with a combined market capitalization of over US$2.4 trillion and representing over 5 million employees – intend to unite businesses and governments in recovering better and delivering the greatest positive impact for people, prosperity, and the planet.

The signatories will continue to; demonstrate that the best decisions and actions are grounded in science; invest in recovery and resilience for systemic socio-economic transformations; and work with governments and scale up the movement.

“To ensure we recover better, we are calling on Governments and policy-makers to match our ambitions in their recovery efforts aligned with reaching net-zero emissions well before 2050,” a joint statement issied by the companies reads in part.

“If we work together, these efforts will help reduce vulnerability to future shocks and disasters, and build community resilience. A systemic shift to a zero-carbon and resilient economy is within our reach — our only future depends on making this vision a reality.”

The 155 companies have already set, or committed to set, science-based emissions reduction targets. By signing the statement, they are reaffirming that their own decisions and actions remain grounded in science, while calling on governments to prioritize a faster and fairer transition from a grey to a green economy.

The call is backed by a study from Oxford University, which highlights that policy and spending that incorporates climate targets can reduce vulnerability to future shocks and disasters, create good jobs, reduce emissions and ensure clean air.

The signatories span 34 sectors and have headquarters in 33 countries. Bayer, Firmenich, Glovo, Nomad Foods, Diageo, Symrise, Syngenta Group, Takasago International Corporation, Talawakelle Tea Estates, Tate & Lyle and Pernod Ricard are also part of the signatories.

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