We Mean Business Coalition calls for an end to unabated fossil fuel use by 2040

A month before the start of COP28,  131 companies, representing nearly $1 trillion in global annual revenue, have called call on heads of state and government attending the climate summit to address the primary cause of climate change: the burning of fossil fuels.

The signatories call on leaders to set a timeline for phasing out unabated fossil fuels, and to back that up with national plans and policies.

The letter has been organised by the We Mean Business Coalition and supported by partners including BSR, CDP, Ceres, Climate Group, CLG Europe, The B Team, WBCSD, CLG UK, Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL), WWF, Exponential Roadmap Initiative, Global Renewables Alliance and UNICEF.

Putting their names to the letter are companies such as Volvo Cars, BT Group plc, Vodafone, Heineken, Unilever, IKEA, Nestle, eBay, Decathlon and Vodafone.

Anders Kärrberg, Global Head of Sustainability at Volvo Cars, said: ‘We know that phasing out fossil fuels is the only way forward if we are to limit global warming and keep people safe from climate catastrophe. But businesses cannot do this alone. Together with We Mean Business Coalition, Volvo Cars calls on all Parties attending COP28 to seek outcomes that will lay the groundwork to transform the global energy system towards a full phase-out of unabated fossil fuels.’

The letter states: ‘Our businesses are feeling the impacts and cost of increasing extreme weather events resulting from climate change. … To decarbonise the global energy system, we need to ramp up clean energy as fast as we phase out the use and production of fossil fuels. This means turbocharging the renewables revolution, electrifying key sectors and massively improving efficiency — thereby creating the conditions for a rapid, well-managed and just transition away from fossil fuels. 

‘We call on all parties attending COP28 to seek outcomes that will lay the groundwork to transform the global energy system towards a full phase-out of unabated fossil fuels and halve emissions this decade.’

They ask that World leaders: ‘accelerate the clean energy transition by committing to reach 100% decarbonized power systems by 2035 in advanced economies, and by 2040 for other countries, at the latest.’

In a recent update to their Net Zero Roadmap, the International Energy Agency pushed for a reduction in the share of unabated fossil fuels in electricity generation from 61% in 2022 to 29% in 2030, anticipating it would fall to 9% in 2035 and 0.2% by 2050.

The letter also asks for support for countries in the Global South, through the provision of finance that does not exacerbate unsustainable sovereign debt and of capacity-building for just transition planning.



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