There is no denying the economic case for addressing climate change, investing in renewable energy, and increasing energy efficiency. With the Global Climate Action Summit only weeks away- the first ever climate event designed exclusively for businesses and local leaders- representatives from the private sector and local government are uniting to drive change. This week has seen two multi stakeholder alliances develop in Japan and New Zealand; both have created platforms for businesses and organizations to take the lead and collaborate in efforts to address climate change.
On July 6th, Japan established The Japanese Climate Initiative (JCI), making it the first Alliance for Climate Action (ACA) to launch. JCI is comprised of representatives from more than 100 companies, local governments, and private organizations. Members include companies like Panasonic Corp as well as the Tokyo, Kyoto, and Yokohama city governments. Additionally, 15 of 20 Japanese companies with approved science based targets have joined the initiative.
While Japan has not recently been on the frontlines of climate action, the JCI aims for Japan to “play a greater role in the world in realizing a decarbonized society primarily through promotion of energy efficiency and expansion of renewable energy.” Furthermore, the JCI strongly believes that “expanding and accelerating efforts toward a decarbonized society and setting an example for international society will bring significant benefits to Japan itself.” The message has been well received, as the Japanese Climate Initiative launched months ahead of schedule due to significant interest and anticipations. Additionally, the JCI hopes promote further collaboration with other subnational actors from around the world to deliver on the commitments of the Paris Agreement.
On July 11th, New Zealand launched the CEO Climate Leaders Coalition. This coalition is comprised of 60 businesses which are responsible for about 20% of New Zealand’s GDP and which represent nearly 50% of New Zealand’s Greenhouse Gas emissions. Within the Coalition, businesses have agreed to three key commitments: measuring and reporting on emissions, setting targets that will keep warming under 2 degrees Celsius, and working with suppliers to reduce emissions. The signed statement also endorses carbon budgets and includes support of the Paris Agreement and New Zealand’s national commitment to it.
The Climate Leaders Coalition aims to use collective action as a means for driving New Zealand towards a low emissions economy, in an effort to create a better future for its citizens, business, and economy.
There’s no viable solution to the climate challenge without action from every level of society; subnational coalitions are highly effective in creating innovative solutions for addressing climate change and through new partnerships are able to catalyze new action on the scale needed to deliver on the promise of the Paris Agreements.