CEOs call for climate conference to end fossil fuel subsidies

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The heads of 91 major global companies on Thursday called on the COP26 summit to abolish fossil fuel subsidies and work with business to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions.

The Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders, brought together by the World Economic Forum (WEF), called on governments to halve emissions by 2030 and reach net-zero by 2050, proposing steps to help businesses reduce emissions faster and scale up innovations.

In an open letter, the executives proposed eliminating fossil fuel subsidies, slashing customs duties on climate-friendly goods and supporting innovation in technologies that help adapt to the effects of climate change.

The signatories included chiefs from Allianz, , Bloomberg, Carlsberg, Dell, Deloitte, Deutsche Bank, Ericsson, Heineken, HSBC, Ingka Group (IKEA), KPMG, Microsoft, Nestle, PepsiCo, Siemens, Suntory, Swiss Re and Tata Steel.

The companies are committed to reduce emissions by more than one gigatonne annually by 2030, the WEF said.

Many of them are regularly singled out by environmental protection or climate change organisations for their practices or products.

COP26, the UN Climate Change Conference, is being held in Glasgow from Sunday to November 12.

Signatories “are committed to ambitious, and science aligned climate action, and welcome bold policies to accelerate decarbonisation efforts around the world,” said Antonia Gawel, head of the WEF’s Climate Action Platform.

The business chiefs called on COP26 to ensure that developed countries meet and exceed their $100 billion commitment to supporting developing countries’ efforts to mitigate the effects of climate change.

They urged world leaders to “eliminate fossil fuel subsidies, cut tariffs on climate-friendly goods, develop market-based, meaningful and broadly accepted carbon pricing mechanisms and take adequate measures to ensure a just transition”.

And they called for a competitive market in low-carbon technologies.

The WEF hosts the annual Davos summit of the global political and business elites. The event will return to the Swiss ski resort in January after the 2021 edition was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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