Business Titans Unite: A Global Campaign to End Fossil Fuel Dominance

We Mean Business Coalition's 'Fossil to Clean' Initiative Catalyzes Ambitious Business-Led Action for a Greener Tomorrow

3 mins read

Key Takeaways:

  • We Mean Business Coalition’s Bold Move: The We Mean Business Coalition launches the ‘Fossil to Clean’ campaign, calling on businesses to spearhead the phase-out of fossil fuels, creating an ‘ambition loop’ to spur governments and investors into action.
  • Business Leaders Committed: A recent poll reveals that 50% of business leaders aim to eliminate fossil fuels from their companies by 2040, with 70% targeting a phase-out by 2050.
  • Government Regulation: A Catalyst for Change: 82% of surveyed business leaders consider government regulation as the most crucial driver of the energy transition, emphasizing the need for swift policy action.

In a groundbreaking move, the We Mean Business Coalition (WMBC) has launched a global campaign, ‘Fossil to Clean,’ aimed at galvanizing businesses to take the lead in phasing out fossil fuels. The campaign, unveiled during Climate Week NYC, seeks to create an ‘ambition loop’ that propels energy suppliers, capital providers, and governments towards rapid clean energy adoption.

The Urgency of Fossil Fuel Phase-Out

Despite significant progress in scaling climate solutions, fossil fuels remain the primary driver of global climate change, responsible for nearly 80% of global energy supply. To achieve the critical climate goal of keeping global warming below 1.5°C, emissions must peak by 2025 and halve by 2030, necessitating a swift and substantial phase-out of fossil fuels alongside a robust increase in clean energy production.

María Mendiluce, CEO of the We Mean Business Coalition, emphasizes the urgency of addressing the core issue: “The combustion of fossil fuels is at the heart of our emissions problem. We’ve seen widespread support for phasing out all fossil fuels, but progress is too slow. We need immediate, decisive action towards a just and equitable transition from fossil fuels to clean energy.”

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Business Leaders Committed to Change

A recent poll conducted by WMBC found that a significant portion of business leaders are committed to reducing their companies’ reliance on fossil fuels. Nearly half (47%) expect to phase out fossil fuels from their operations by 2040, and 70% are targeting a complete phase-out by 2050. These numbers underscore a growing consensus within the business community on the imperative to transition to cleaner energy sources.

Government Regulation: A Crucial Accelerator

The poll also highlighted the vital role of government regulation in expediting the energy transition. An overwhelming 82% of surveyed business leaders believe that government regulation is either the most important or second most important accelerator for the transition. However, differing regulations across regions have created challenges for businesses, with 51% expressing a preference for geographies with stricter energy laws and regulations as more attractive places to operate.

“We are calling on businesses to be the catalyst for change,” said María Mendiluce. “We encourage them to use the Fossil to Clean principles and send a clear signal to governments, investors, and suppliers of fossil fuels that the transition is underway, and fossil fuel demand will decline. This will create an ambition loop and trigger the rapid scaling and development of the clean solutions that are so needed to ensure sustainable economic growth.”

COP28: A Pivotal Opportunity

The Fossil to Clean campaign also calls on governments to incorporate fossil fuel phase-out into the outcome text of the upcoming COP28 climate conference in Dubai. Such a commitment from governments would further bolster the confidence of businesses and investors in scaling clean energy initiatives.

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Global Commitment to Emission Reduction

Over 13,000 businesses have already committed to reducing their emissions in alignment with climate science. Those who rapidly embrace renewables, electrification, and energy efficiency will not only meet their climate targets but also showcase their competitiveness and resilience. This proactive approach minimizes business risks and safeguards long-term shareholder value.

The Fossil to Clean Principles

The Fossil to Clean campaign is underpinned by a set of guiding principles that provide clear direction and timelines for the phase-out of fossil fuels for suppliers, businesses, financiers, and governments. These principles draw from the recommendations of the UN High-Level Expert Group on Net Zero and align with pathways to limit global heating to 1.5°C and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

Case Study: Bridging the Transmission Gap in the United States

A critical aspect of halving emissions by 2030 and reaching net-zero by 2050 is the removal of fossil fuels from the power sector. A clean power sector is not only vital for reducing emissions but also facilitates the electrification of other sectors like transportation, buildings, and industry.

Both the US and EU are on track to generate enough renewable energy to decarbonize their power sectors by 2030. However, the bottleneck lies in transmission capacity—infrastructural limitations that hinder the distribution of electricity from generation sources to consumers. In the US, planned transmission projects only cover 20% of the necessary additions to achieve net-zero emissions.

The need for comprehensive infrastructure development, enhanced grid flexibility, and interoperability have gained recognition. Supportive regulations that encourage private sector investment can overcome these barriers if there is a collective will from political and corporate stakeholders.

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In Conclusion

The ‘Fossil to Clean’ campaign spearheaded by the We Mean Business Coalition marks a pivotal moment in the global effort to combat climate change. By urging businesses to lead the way in phasing out fossil fuels, the campaign sets the stage for an ‘ambition loop’ that could accelerate clean energy adoption and drive transformative change. As business leaders and governments alike commit to this imperative, the path to a sustainable and climate-resilient future becomes clearer, offering hope for a world that successfully navigates the challenges of our time.

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