The leaders of a coalition of sustainability-focused organizations have issued a call on business leaders to commit to climate action, including setting science-based climate targets for their companies, and align their lobbying practices with efforts to achieve net zero by 2050.

Signatories to the call include the heads of BSR, C2ES, CDP, Ceres, Climate Group North America, Conservation International, Environmental Defense Fund, The Nature Conservancy, Union of Concerned Scientists, We Mean Business, World Resources Institute and World Wildlife Fund. In an open letter to US CEOs, the organizations’ leaders call on companies to step up to the opportunity to act on climate change. The letter states:

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“The need for private-sector leadership to address climate change has never been greater. With a new administration and Congress in place, there is an immediate window to enact public policy that puts the United States on a path to achieve net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050, restores our standing as a global leader on climate and spurs economic recovery and job creation — all in an equitable, just and inclusive manner.”

The letter advocates several actions for the business leaders to help the US achieve net zero emissions by 2020, and to cut emissions at least 50% below 2005 levels by 2030. These include publicly supporting an ambitious 2030 goal (Nationally Determined Contribution) for the United States under the Paris Agreement, advocating for legislation and regulations to cut climate pollution, and aligning lobbying practices with a path to net zero by 2050.

Andrew Steer, President & CEO, World Resources Institute, said:

“A zero-carbon transition presents a great opportunity for U.S. businesses and the economy. Investments in wind and solar energy generation can provide double the number of jobs as fossil fuel production. Reducing emissions is also essential to improve efficiency and reduce the economic risks of climate change. Corporate leaders can play a critical role to ensure the U.S. government takes strong climate action at the federal and state level, which will in turn power economic growth and enhance resilience across the United States.”