89 French companies sign up to climate action ahead of Macron’s green finance summit to mark two years since the Paris Agreement
As heads of state and companies meet in Paris today to mark the second anniversary of the Paris climate agreement, two major French companies with combined global revenue of €95bn announced they have joined The Climate Group’s corporate leadership campaign.
Schneider Electric committed to source 100% renewable electricity by 2030 through RE100, and to double its energy productivity by 2030 (against a 2005 baseline) through EP100, while EDF Group said it will fully transition to electric vehicles by 2030 through EV100. All three initiatives are led by The Climate Group.
The commitments will help both companies meet their wider climate ambitions: Schneider Electric has a target to achieve carbon neutrality in its ecosystem by 2030, while EDF has a Goal 2030 pledge to “go beyond the requirements of the two degrees Celsius trajectory set by COP21”.
Helen Clarkson, chief executive officer of The Climate Group, said the commitments were an important demonstration of corporate leadership on delivering on the Paris agreement. “These companies are giants in their sectors, so their commitments to purchasing renewable energy, vastly improving energy productivity, and switching to electric vehicles, send clear and significant market signals.”
Jean-Bernard Lévy, chairman and CEO of EDF, who signed the EV100 commitment beside The Climate Group at an event at EDF’s Paris office yesterday afternoon, said: “We believe in the importance and the development of electric mobility in towns and regions. … We have to be among the forerunners and show just how important this field is. This commitment answers the expectations of our stakeholders.”
Jean-Pascal Tricoire, chairman and CEO of Schneider Electric, said: “When it comes to the climate, I’m neither an optimist nor a pessimist, I’m an activist. … Joining The Climate Group’s EP100 and RE100 initiatives is a demonstration of how consumers and business can be empowered to ensure the affordability, resilience, sustainability, and security of the energy that they consume.”
The two companies are among 89 French firms, representing an overall turnover of €1.5trn and employing 6 million people worldwide, that have signed the 2017 French Business Climate Pledge. The pledge, which commits signatories to take concrete action on climate change, affirms “the need to collectively change course, in order to bring about a drastic reduction of global greenhouse (GHG) emissions” and includes a call for better carbon pricing.
Initiated in the run-up to the Paris climate conference, another 50 companies have joined the initiative in the past two years.
The day-long One Planet Summit, being held on the Ile Seguin in western Paris, has been jointly organised by Macron, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, and UN Secretary General António Guterres. Heads of state and business leaders will discuss how to drive forward the implementation of the Paris Agreement and a swift transition to a sustainable economy, with a focus on green finance.
Several high-profile companies, including a number RE100 members, are expected to announce their support for the Powering Past Coal Alliance. The alliance, led by Canada and the UK and launched at COP23 in Bonn, calls for a phase-out of coal by 2025. It has 25 signatories and is seeking to double in numbers by COP24 next year.
Also launched today will be the Business Declaration of Foundation 2°, in which 54 companies will call on countries to develop and implement long-term decarbonisation strategies, to phase out fossil-fuel subsidies by 2025, to put an effective price on carbon, and to support the work of the Taskforce on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures.
COP23 Paris Agreement Schneider Electric EDF Energy One Planet summit