Late last week, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the United Kingdom’s Royal Society released a compelling new report that reinforces the reality of climate change and the role that human activity plays in this reality. The report echoes what science tells us loud and clear: We must hold global mean temperature rise to less than 2°C above pre-industrial levels to avoid significant and potentially irreversible risks to our planet and population. And we must build resilience to address inevitable climate change impacts that are threatening global socioeconomic systems.
The report also answers the top 20 questions about climate change in accessible language, clarifying the facts and resolving apparent conundrums like, “If the world is warming, why are some winters and summers still so cold?”
At BSR, we’re adding one more question to this list: “How can business play a leadership role in avoiding dangerous climate change and managing the impacts though collaboration and innovation?” We are past the point of asking why business should act: Addressing climate change is a business imperative, given the financial, reputational, regulatory, and other risks that climate change poses—and the opportunities for trailblazers.
To address this question, we’re organizing our inaugural BSR Spring Forum 2014, “Climate Action: The Urgency of Business Leadership,” taking place June 11-12 in Paris. The timing and location for our event are deliberate, as we will be building on the urgency of what many are calling the “2015 moment”— the convergence of efforts for a new international climate agreement in Paris in 2015 and the preparation of Sustainable Development Goals to replace the Millennium Development Goals in 2015.
Our program in Paris will focus on case studies and collaborative initiatives that align business innovation with a sustainable future. We’ll welcome 150 leaders from our membership network, and other businesses, civil society, international organizations, and government to develop a path forward for a low-carbon, climate-resilient global economy.
We hope you’ll join the discussion on Twitter (#BSRParis14) to ask critical questions of your own and to help us discover the answers together.