CEOs urge ‘ambitious’ UN climate pact

The chief executive officers of 43 major international companies are urging world leaders to come to an “ambitious” United Nations agreement to fight climate change.

In the open letter sent Thursday, organized by the World Economic Forum, the CEOs commit to their own measures to reduce greenhouse gases and ask that countries put prices on carbon dioxide emissions.


“This coalition, comprising 43 CEOs from companies with operations in over 150 countries and territories ... believes the private sector has a responsibility to actively engage in global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and to help lead the global transition to a low-carbon, climate-resilient economy,” they wrote.

The letter also represents an “open offer” to work closely with governments to set goals and achieve them.

The leaders signing on include Philips CEO Frans van Houten, Ikea CEO Peter Agnefjäll, Unilever CEO Paul Polman and Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg.

“We agree on the need for inspirational and meaningful global action and aligned messaging,” they wrote, promising to be “ambassadors for climate action.”

For the U.N. deal, the CEOs asked specifically that countries institute prices on carbon, either through market mechanisms or legislative action.

They also asked for clear monitoring and reporting requirements from countries, and for increased transparency on energy-related matters for private investors.

U.N. leaders hope to come to an agreement on the deal at a December meeting in Paris.