Businesses have a central role to play in determining whether or not global temperature increases can be limited to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels by 2050. If businesses and other stakeholders continue to sleep at the wheel, they risk propelling us to a world that is well above two degrees, the consequences of which would be devastating to business, people and planet.
Whilst some companies are driving forward and making deep transformational changes to our industries and/or implementing policies that support the delivery of a net-zero carbon economy, collectively these transformations are not ambitious enough to decarbonise entire economies.
However, the impact of climate change can largely be avoided if key corporate and other stakeholders embrace the resources and technology already available to them. By working collaboratively, implementing robust regulation and diverting resources — financial, policy mechanisms and human — to action on meeting net-zero, including investment in resilience and adaptation for all communities, we will lessen the economic and human rights risks associated with climate change.
Globally, the cost of dealing with climate change now amounts to USD 5 trillion, including a significant increase in responses to disasters and a world where business, and consumers, cannot access insurance because of the unpredictability of the global climate.
Businesses need to understand that climate change poses strategic and operational risk to their success — including litigation, investor/activist demands, costs of inaction, climate refugees and human trafficking — and a risk to their employees and the communities that they operate in.
Our discussion paper on climate change and human rights can be accessed here.
The Global Compact Network Australia convenes regular in-person events and webinars on climate change and human rights. Register your interest at firstname.lastname@example.org.