(Mexico City) – A new report launched today at the Business for Environment (B4E) Conference in Mexico City by the Low Carbon Leaders Project, an initiative supported by the UN Global Compact and WWF, stresses that transformations in the way that needs are met would produce much greater emissions reductions than incremental improvements in existing technology.
The report Low Carbon Leaders – Transformative Solutions Leadership lists twelve examples of “transformative low-carbon solutions” that can provide services in a new and energy efficient way. Some of these solutions have the potential to build inverse relationships between revenues and emissions.
“Low Carbon Leaders are the companies who understand that saving the climate depends on revolutionizing the current economy so that the needs we have can be delivered in totally new ways,” said Stefan Henningsson, Director of WWF Sweden’s climate change programme and member of the Low Carbon Leaders steering group. “These companies don’t see carbon constraints as a threat; they use it as a driver for innovation. Instead of only improving current products on the margin, the winners in the low-carbon economy focus on what service that best can meet the needs and develop solutions for that. In this way that can increase revenues while taking carbon out of the economy.”
A typical example for a transformative change is lighting which currently – based on conventional incandescent lighting – consumes approximately 19 percent of all electricity produced globally. By focusing on actual light needs, the report explains, retailers could help accelerating a switch to efficient technologies such as Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs and LED lighting, with a savings potential of up to 630 million tons of CO2 emissions per year globally.
As an additional example of a service that meets a need with lower climate impact, the report suggests changing from printed matter to electronic formats such as e-books, with internet bookseller Amazon now already selling more electronic than tree-based books.
Business executives gathered at B4E will also renew their call on governments to ensure that clear progress is made in December during the negotiations of the sixteenth Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework on Climate Change (COP16).
The B4E conference, convened by WWF, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the Government of Mexico and the UN Global Compact, will also showcase new innovations, including new cross-sector partnerships to guarantee the lowest carbon emissions for a particular service provided.
“There is a tidal wave of companies, large and small, that are now doing all they can to provide society with what we need in new innovative ways that also dramatically reduce the emissions. Moving focus from companies as only a source of emissions to a situation where their potential as solutions providers is recognized would unleash the kind of innovation and collaboration that is needed,” said Dennis Pamlin, Director of the Low Carbon Leaders Project.
The Low Carbon Leaders Project has been developed under the umbrella of UN Global Compact Caring for Climate initiative in cooperation with WWF. The overview report and supporting materials including case studies can be downloaded from www.transformative-solutions.net.
The B4E – Business for Environment Conference brings together leaders from influential global corporations and key global environmental organizations on 4 and 5 October in Mexico City. They are expected to call on governments to make a success of this year’s UN climate negotiations in Cancun, Mexico, from 29 Nov to 10 Dec.
UN Global Compact
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