Leading Companies Welcome Paris ‘Rulebook’

For Immediate Release
December 19, 2018

Contact: Alec Gerlach, GerlachA@c2es.org, 703-516-0621

Leading Companies Welcome Paris ‘Rulebook’

Strongly Urge Governments to Complete Remaining Market-Related Provisions

WASHINGTON – Fourteen leading companies are applauding the progress made at COP 24 in Katowice, Poland, to implement the Paris Agreement. Following the conclusion this weekend of the 24th session of the Conference of the Parties to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, companies from key sectors issued a statement welcoming the decisions reached and urging governments to quickly conclude remaining issues on the use of market mechanisms.

The statement, organized by C2ES, was signed by Adobe; Berkshire Hathaway Energy; Danfoss; Equinor U.S.; HP Inc.; IBM, Intel; Johnson Controls; LafargeHolcim; Mars, Inc.; Microsoft; PG&E; Shell; and The Hartford.

It says the Paris Agreement supports the private sector’s role in the transition to a carbon-neutral economy by providing long-term direction, promoting transparency, addressing competitiveness, and facilitating carbon pricing.

“These companies are voicing their continued support for the Paris Agreement because they understand what climate change means for the bottom line – both the risks and the opportunities,” said C2ES President Bob Perciasepe. “They’re pleased to see stronger government leadership on these issues and are committed to working with governments to strengthen climate action.”

The statement notes that, in elaborating the broad provisions of the Paris Agreement, the “rulebook” decisions in Katowice provide governments most of the guidance they need to fully implement the landmark agreement. The “major shortcoming,” it says, was the inability to finalize rules for implementing the agreement’s provisions, which are critical to mobilizing private sector investment. The companies strongly urge governments to finalize those rules at next year’s COP 25.

“Progress on combatting climate change requires clarity of goals, commitment to action and comprehensive approaches,” said Michelle Patron, Director of Sustainability Policy at Microsoft. “The Paris rulebook, agreed to in Poland, standardizes how countries report, update, and strengthen their climate targets and establishes transparent reporting structures to motivate countries to achieve these goals. There remains, however, a great deal of work to be done to translate these goals into reality, and time is short. That’s why Microsoft attended COP, as we have previously, and will continue to raise our ambition to take actions as a company, as a technology provider, and as a partner to governments and companies around the world.”

With the United States still indicating its intention to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, the companies note the agreement “will be most effective with all countries remaining on board.”

Read the full business statement: 

As companies committed to addressing climate change, we welcome the decisions reached by governments at COP 24 in Katowice, Poland, to implement the Paris Agreement, and we strongly urge governments to finalize the Agreement’s market-related provisions next year at COP 25.

The Paris Agreement is a landmark achievement – it establishes an inclusive, pragmatic and durable framework for progressively strengthening efforts globally to address the causes and consequences of climate change.

The recent Special Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change underscores the growing environmental, social, economic, and security risks posed by climate change. As businesses concerned about the well-being of our customers, our communities, our investors, and our planet, we are committed to working on our own and in partnership with governments to mobilize the technology, investment and innovation needed to transition to a sustainable carbon-neutral economy.

We have welcomed the Paris Agreement as an expression of the strong governmental leadership needed to achieve this transition. Once all the implementing guidelines are in place, the Agreement will help to facilitate and strengthen the role of the private sector in this transition by:

  • Providing Long-Term Direction – The goals of keeping warming well below 2°C, peaking global emissions, and achieving net greenhouse gas neutrality signal markets to shift investment toward the diverse range of technologies needed to achieve them.
  • Promoting Transparency – By requiring countries to be transparent about their policy intentions and implementation, the agreement provides greater clarity on policy landscapes, enabling companies to better anticipate regulatory developments and economic opportunities.
  • Addressing Competitiveness – Global participation and the regular, simultaneous renewal of national contributions will promote a greater comparability of effort, helping to ease concerns about potential carbon leakage and competitive imbalances.
  • Facilitating Carbon Pricing – Allowing, and ensuring the environmental integrity of, international emissions trading will help facilitate the growth and credibility of carbon markets, a critical tool for cost-effective emissions reduction.

In translating the broad provisions of the Agreement into concrete guidelines, the “rulebook” decisions adopted in Katowice provide governments most of the guidance they need, individually and collectively, to implement the Agreement. The major shortcoming was the inability to finalize the guidance needed to implement the market-related provisions of Article 6, which are critical to mobilizing private sector investment. We strongly urge governments to finalize this guidance, as promised, at COP 25.

The Paris Agreement will be most effective with all countries remaining on board. We welcome the decisions in Katowice as a further signal of government leadership toward a carbon-neutral economy and urge all governments to ensure the Agreement is now fully implemented. We look forward to working with countries to achieve and to strengthen their national contributions.

Download a PDF Here

For more coverage on COP 24 outcomes, see C2ES resources at https://www.c2es.org/content/cop-24-katowice/.

About C2ES: The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization working to forge practical solutions to climate change. Our mission is to advance strong policy and action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote clean energy, and strengthen resilience to climate impacts. Learn more at www.c2es.org.