Business Leaders Advocating for Net Zero Emissions

Posted by Amy Guinan

May 29, 2015 8:00:00 AM

Paris2-908567-editedPrivate Sector Leading the Climate Charge

A group of high-profile CEOs, including Virgin founder Richard Branson, Unilever chief Paul Polman,and Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington, appealed world leaders meeting at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris this December to agree to bring the balance of greenhouse gas emissions to zero by mid-century.

Net zero emissions would be achieved through replacing fossil fuels with clean energy sources and ensuring that any remaining emissions are balanced out by carbon-saving projects such as tree-planting and carbon capture and storage,

Branson told Reuters in an interview the lofty goal of net zero emissions is "doable" with private sector buy in and help. "Setting a net-zero GHG emissions target by 2050 will drive innovation, grow jobs, build prosperity and secure a better world for what will soon be 9 billion people. Taking bold action on climate change simply makes good business sense," said Branson.

A climate vision

In addition to calling for net zero emissions, the group also called on governments to set policies to price carbon pollution, end fossil-fuel subsidies and help poor and vulnerable communities adapt to climate change.

But, not surprisingly, while developing nations want the new pact to include the net-zero goal, OPEC oil producers, like Saudi Arabia, fiercely oppose any phase-out of fossil fuels.


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