Leading global entrepreneurs join the call for climate action | WWF

Leading global entrepreneurs join the call for climate action

Posted on 28 October 2015    
A wind farm near La Calahorra in Andalucia, Spain, at sunset.
© Global Warming Images / WWF
(Gland, Switzerland, 28 October 2015) - Ahead of historic climate talks in Paris this December, entrepreneurs from innovative cleantech companies have, for the first time, issued a call for governments, investors and multinational corporations to set emissions reduction targets based on science.
 
The Entrepreneurs Call to Climate Action and COP 21 details how urgent action is needed on climate change, urging world leaders to “leave the fossil fuel era behind as soon as we can” and use innovative, existing solutions to create jobs.
 
The Call to Climate Action is supported by WWF’s Climate Solver initiative and signed by 26 CEOs, chairpersons and founders of companies based in South Africa, Sweden, China and India, many of which operate globally. It follows recent and widespread calls from civil society, faith groups and the business sector for more ambitious action to tackle climate change.
 
Despite the fact that climate scientists have warned that we need to sharply and urgently curb emissions to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, a substantive amount of finance is still being allocated to the discovery and development of fossil fuel resources. Meanwhile, funding is the largest obstacle to many energy efficiency and renewable energy entrepreneurs around the world.
 
Samantha Smith, leader of WWF’s Global Climate and Energy Initiative said, “The technology and the business models to shift away from fossil fuels already exist – but they need support. With the climate negotiations in Paris just a few weeks away, world leaders and investors must use the opportunity to show that we are willing to embrace solutions for a more sustainable future.”
 
Stefan Henningsson, WWF Global Climate and Energy Initiative Senior Adviser on climate innovation said, “There are thousands of amazing cleantech entrepreneurs with solutions that need to grow, in order for emissions to shrink rapidly and for more people to get clean energy access. We’re calling for even more entrepreneurs to sign up ahead of Paris and send a clear message to world leaders about where policy and finance should head in the future. This is your call.”
 
The Call to Action says that “the more we grow, the faster emissions will shrink. The more we grow, the more people will have access to sustainable energy. The more we grow, the closer we will be to a full decarbonisation of the global economy.”  World leaders heading to Paris need to incentivise and invest in these solutions instead of continuing to support fossil fuels, said Henningsson.
 
Mainak Chakraborty, CEO, GPS Renewables said, "If bioenergy can work reliably and cost-effectively, and complement the availability and storage issues of solar and wind, a 100 per cent renewable energy future can happen much sooner than expected. We have done our bit by building that bioenergy solution. The only thing stopping us from transforming a billion lives today is finance and policy. Hence this plea to our leaders to do their bit."
 
Joakim Byström, CEO of Absolicon, a solar concentrator company producing electricity heat and steam said, “Human ingenuity can limit climate change to well below 2 degrees and provide a six year safe payback time on the deal. Clearly six years safe payback cannot be seen as too long in the face of runaway climate change.” 
 
Johan Siverklev, founder of Air to Air, a heat exchange company said, “The greatest challenge for climate innovation is still that entrepreneurs spend more time chasing funding than developing their technologies which increases the time to market significantly. It is high time capital starts chasing climate entrepreneurs rather than the other way around.”
 
Harit Soni, CEO of Ecolibrium, said "Climate change is not only one of the biggest threats facing humanity today - but also the biggest opportunity for mankind to make the shift to living more in sync with nature.  At Ecolibrium energy, we are working towards using technology for creating energy intelligence and efficiency in industries, towards a vision of creating a world where every watt counts. I strongly believe that the technology and financial resources for stopping climate change already exist - the only impediment is global political will and a clear policy direction. Through this call for action - I, along with WWF, and other entrepreneurs, urge the leaders of the world to commit towards a clear direction which would help convert the already existing resources into tangible action on ground, so that our children see COP Paris as the turnaround event when mankind decided to end the fight with nature!"
 
 
 
For further information, contact:
 
Mandy Jean Woods mwoods@wwf.org.za / @MandyJeanWoods  / +27 72 393 0027
Sam Smith ssmith@wwf.no  / @pandaclimate / +47 450 22 149
Stefan Henningsson stefan.henningsson@wwf.panda.org / @shenningsson / +46 70 57 99 291 
 
About WWF - WWF's mission is to stop the degradation of the earth's natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature. The Global Climate & Energy Initiative (GCEI) is WWF’s global programme addressing climate change, promoting renewable and sustainable energy, scaling up green finance, engaging the private sector and working nationally and internationally on implementing low carbon, climate resilient development.
 
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A wind farm near La Calahorra in Andalucia, Spain, at sunset.
© Global Warming Images / WWF Enlarge

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