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Reports 11 Feb 2020

Ten Years to Deliver the Paris Agreement

The GlobeScan-SustainAbility Survey

By Aiste Brackley and Bron York

We are entering the climate decade, a ten-year period where our collective actions will determine the kind of world our children and grandchildren will inherit.

Since the launch of the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015, every two years we have asked global experts to assess progress towards reducing global greenhouse gas emissions. In the time since our second report was released in 2017, urgency has grown. The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has declared that we have just ten years to halve emissions in order to avoid dangerous impacts from climate change, and that the threshold for dangerous warming is lower than previously predicted, at 1.5°C.

This survey is a reminder that current action, while representing progress, is not enough to stave off major damage from climate change.

In this context, we have once again asked experienced sustainability experts representing business, government, NGOs, academia, and media to share their perspectives on the current state of climate action, including the most effective solutions and tools for accelerating and scaling impact. We received more than 554 expert responses from across 66 countries.

Experts view the next ten years as crucial for companies to make significant progress on both climate mitigation and adaptation in order to remain successful. A majority of experts state that companies need to become carbon neutral by 2030 or sooner. Just two percent of experts surveyed believe that there will be no negative financial consequences for companies that fail to act on climate change.

Experts see significant risks for companies who fail to act. These include worsening reputation amongst key stakeholders such as investors and customers, physical and financial vulnerability to climate impacts, lack of access to capital/divestment, and reduced competitiveness against peers.

This survey is a reminder that current action, while representing progress, is not enough to stave off major damage from climate change. There is still significant work to do, and we need all corporations, not just current leaders, to take immediate and rapid steps toward a low-carbon future.

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