UN-backed online portal tracks business and sub-national climate commitments

Ilario D'Amato
Reading time: 4 minutes
21 May 2015

LONDON: A powerful new online tool will record and showcase 2,763 bold climate initiatives from businesses, cities, regions and investors to help build momentum toward the UN’s climate conference COP21 in Paris this December.

The Non-state Actor Zone for Climate Action (NAZCA) platform, developed by the UN with the governments of France and Peru, was relaunched today to mark the end of the important Business & Climate Summit, which is the cornerstone event of Climate Week Paris, which is convened by The Climate Group.

“This is another powerful instrument for businesses and sub-national governments to deliver significant emissions reductions and help drive a strong global deal by national governments,” says Mark KenberCEOThe Climate Group. “The shift towards a low carbon economy needs transparency, a clear policy pathway and an informed discussion based on credible and verified data, which this website provides.

“The NAZCA portal and initiatives such as our Compact of States and Regions, are a way for national policymakers to see the tangible social and economic co-benefits of tackling climate change, through non-state actors’ successes.”

The Compact is the first single, reliable and clear account of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and reduction targets by sub-national governments, which assesses their progress toward those commitments through the analysis of data submitted. Data is also submitted to the NAZCA website, to provide a complete account of climate efforts toward a global, binding climate treaty in Paris later this year.

Paris momentum

Launched last year at COP20 in Lima, the NAZCA portal has already registered many commitments from businesses, cities and regions, becoming the ideal platform to showcase how tackling climate change is good for business and citizens. Now, companies gathered in Paris are asking governments to implement bold policies to support this inevitable shift.

Sub-national governments, once again, are taking the lead. At the beginning of Climate Week Paris, leading states and regions signed a Memorandum of Understanding to commit to either reducing their GHG emissions between 80 and 95% below 1990 levels by 2050, or achieving a per capita emissions target of less than 2 metric tons by the same date.

The same day, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres called global companies to lead the shift towards a low carbon economy, again highlighting the fundamental role of business in shaping the low carbon transition.

“For a long time, climate action was seen as a cost rather than an opportunity,” they wrote in an op-ed, “whereas today, the debate centres on the cost of taking no action.

“As we head towards COP21, we expect business leaders from around the world to call for ambitious policies and to join this collective effort themselves by taking concrete steps, for example by setting themselves a target of 100% renewable energy use, or progressive emission reduction targets.”

During Climate Week NYC last September, The Climate Group launched in partnership with CDP the RE100 project, with the goal that by 2020, 100 of the world’s largest businesses will have committed to 100% renewable power.

Led by top companies including, IKEA, Swiss Re, BT, Formula E, H&M, KPN, Mars, Nestlé and Philips, the initiative has been joined today by Marks and Spencer, one of the world’s leading retailers.

“Today, we are convinced that a large number of public and private stakeholders are ready to commit, in specific ways, to building a more sustainable world,” conclude Laurent Fabius and Christiana Figueres in their op-ed. “The time for climate action has therefore come, and businesses need to play their full part.”


By Ilario D'Amato

Climate Week Paris, which is convened by The Climate Group, takes place from May 18-24, 2015. See the full calendar of events by visiting ClimateWeekParis.org

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