Elena Avesani, Principal Strategy Manager, Oracle
Today world leaders converge in Paris for the 21st
Conference of the Parties (COP21), an annual meeting of 195 nations that make
up the United Nations Framework on Climate Change (UNFCC), with the first meeting
occurring in Berlin in 1995.
The goal is to achieve a legally binding agreement by
national governments towards substantial reductions in greenhouse gas emissions
in order to prevent the planet’s temperature from increasing by 2°C above
pre-industrial levels. Major world leaders, including U.S. President Barack Obama,
Chinese President Xi Jinping and
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi –
the three countries with the largest carbon emissions – will be present for the
beginning of the talks.
Businesses are eagerly looking at the outcome of these
talks, pleading for clarity on issues such as carbon pricing and supply chain
sourcing. A crisp policy framework would formalize many of the voluntary
actions that businesses have already taken on environmental sustainability and
would translate into more certainty for their investment. Carbon markets are
already active in 40 countries and more than 20 cities and regions.
Approximately 15 percent of the S&P 500 factor in a price on carbon when
undertaking investment appraisal.
In addition to establishing the collective goal to
decarbonize the global economy by reaching net zero emissions this century, a
chief political result would be bringing governments to update their
commitments every five years and to provide a regulatory environment that
encourages businesses to innovate through new low-carbon technologies.
For more information about the upcoming climate talks see
guide issued by the UNFCC
that seeks to explain the big issues behind COP21.
 Trends in Private Sector Climate Finance,
Climate Change Support Team (CCST), UN Secretary General, Oct 2015