We are at an inflection point. The moment of truth, where business and government commitments must be implemented – and fast.
Today we launched our new brand. It embodies an alignment of efforts to go faster and further – the acceleration to real action, where every business in every sector, every government, jurisdiction and city are transforming the way they work and delivering meaningful emissions reductions in a coordinated manner.
We believe as a Coalition that business is essential to driving the solutions to the climate crisis. Our goal is to catalyze business and policy action to halve emissions by 2030 and accelerate an inclusive transition to a global net-zero economy by 2050. Having the right level of ambition to cut emissions is a vital first step for both business and government but we must now take big leaps forward to deliver on it. The climate action that the world needs – that science clearly tells us we need – cannot be incremental.
This is the start of the journey. A journey that is more collaborative than ever. There is much work to be done, no time for fragmentation. Many hard conversations to be had. To learn from failures and share successes along the way. With accelerated action comes significant opportunity. The emerging net-zero economy is ushering in a wave of innovation and investment, opening up huge commercial opportunities, creating jobs and supporting the recovery from COVID-19.
With science at the heart of our Coalition values and as our constant guide, and with a growing set of best-in-class initiatives through the Coalition and our extended network of partners, we can shine a light for business on the most credible route to rapid decarbonization.
When the We Mean Business Coalition came together, with the support and partnership of the Ikea Foundation, it was in preparation for the historic Paris Agreement. The Coalition played a critical role bringing together business and building a unified narrative, so that business spoke with one voice and had greater impact on driving policy change. All of the Coalition policy asks were included in the final text of the Agreement.
Our purpose as a Coalition is to use collaborative leadership to solve the climate crisis. This is at the heart of our brand.
The climate crisis can be solved and we want to learn from it and build back better from COVID19.
As with rowing, an image reflected in our new logo, when businesses work together in collaboration with governments and civil society towards a shared goal, they can move faster to the future we all want and need.
Enhancing international collaboration is one of the four key objectives of the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow this year. The Sustainable Development Goal 17 focuses on partnerships and exists because the SDGs can only be realised with strong global cooperation built upon shared vision and goals.
Smartly designed coalitions can get us even further. They are the future. At the heart of coalition working lies a generosity of spirit. This means we find a way to align and converge, respecting one another’s strengths, being open to challenge, teasing out the difficulties and finding ways to resolve conflict for the greater good.
Today, a spirit of collaboration is woven into the fabric of our Coalition culture. It makes us more efficient, more effective and able to deliver impact that is greater than the sum of its parts.
In early 2021 the Coalition and its extended network of partners advocated for raised US policy ambition. Over 400 businesses called for the US to commit to reduce emissions by at least 50% by 2030. The US Government responded. This was the Ambition Loop in action – the virtuous circle at the core of our theory of change. When companies act on climate and advocate for greater policy ambition it will, in turn, help business go even further.
We Mean Business Coalition has been a powerful mission-driven Coalition for many years, the new brand reflects this and drives us to our new chapter. One that benefits from massive support from businesses and government, and where the focus has shifted to accelerating action.
This is not just a race to zero emissions, it’s an invitation to the future we all want. Climate change negatively impacts the natural environment, societies, economies, people, health and equality. By solving the climate crisis we will move towards a future that is in greater balance – in the economy, in society, in our climate and in nature – enabling us to continue to grow, evolve and thrive.
To get there we must now go all in. Taking action is infectious. The more businesses and governments accelerate towards halving emissions by 2030, the more others will follow.
We are all in for 2030. Are you?
CEO of the We Mean Business Coalition