Climate Risks and Opportunities – Everybody’s Concern and Everybody’s Business

The magnitude and urgency of the climate challenge are becoming increasingly apparent. Climate change has direct impacts on the way humans live on the planet, and how businesses operate. While the poorest countries and societies will suffer the most, the climate crisis will affect everyone.

Climate change is a top priority for the United Nations. Through the personal dedication and leadership of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, and the work of all its agencies and specialized bodies, the UN strives to ensure that all parts of society — including business — contribute to addressing climate change.

Business leaders around the world realize that climate change and environmental degradation pose important new risks and opportunities for their companies’ competitiveness, growth and development. Through innovation and long-term investments in energy efficiency and low-carbon technologies, business has the solutions to turn the climate challenge into market opportunities.

Caring for Climate: The UN’s Initiative for Business Leadership on Climate Change

Caring for Climate was launched by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in July 2007. The initiative is jointly convened by the United Nations Global Compact, the secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

Caring for Climate endeavors to help prevent a climate change crisis by mobilizing a critical mass of business leaders to implement and recommend climate change solutions and policies. The initiative helps companies to advance practical solutions, share experiences, inform public policy as well as shape public attitudes. Chief executive officers who support the Caring for Climate Statement are prepared to set goals, develop and expand strategies and practices, and publicly disclose emissions as part of their existing disclosure commitment within the Global Compact framework, that is, the Communication on Progress.

Over the past several years, leaders among Caring for Climate signatories have demonstrated remarkable progress in pursuing comprehensive long-term strategies on energy efficiency and innovative low-carbon technologies within their processes, products and services throughout their value-chains.

Caring for Climate – Why Engage?

Caring for Climate offers maximum value for signatories. Participation in the initiative affords signatory companies a multitude of benefits, including the ability to:

  • Demonstrate leadership in advancing practical solutions and strategies addressing climate change;
  • Align a climate change business strategy with a UN-led initiative that has high visibility;
  • Communicate publicly a company’s actions on climate change;
  • Share best and emerging practices and gain access to the experiences of peers;
  • Shape the climate change policy agenda and call for policy frameworks that reward leadership and innovation.

Caring for Climate recognizes that climate change is also a challenge to development and the sustainability of the global market. As such, the initiative places a strong emphasis on enhancing the role of business in finding strategic solutions to adapt to the impacts of climate change on development i.e. on peace and security, water sustainability, poverty reduction, energy and food security. Caring for Climate offers signatories on-going engagement opportunities to:

  • Develop thought leadership and best practice recommendations on priority areas such as (i) climate change and development, (ii) low-carbon innovative solutions and technology and (iii) disclosure and transparency;
  • Inform the international climate change policy agenda in the context of UN Conference of the Parties (COP) meetings, SG High-Level Panels and the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (CSD) processes;
  • Participate in the annual meeting of signatories, a learning forum to discuss strategies, showcase practices and analyze actions;
  • Engage in regional and national multi-stakeholder dialogues in cooperation with Global Compact Local Networks;
  • Contribute to Caring for Climate annual progress reports and publications.