Executive Briefings

Hitting Paris Accord Goals Requires Urgent Business Support, Researchers Warn

There's a 5-percent chance of reaching the goals set by the Paris agreement - or keeping temperature increases to no more than 2 degrees Celsius by mid century - according to new research published in Nature Climate Change.

"We're closer to the margin than we think," said Adrian Raftery, a University of Washington academic who led the research, as referenced in the Guardian. "If we want to avoid 2C, we have very little time left. The public should be very concerned."

The university adds that the odds are 90 percent such temperature increases will be between 2 degrees Celsius and 4.9 degrees Celsius by 2100. The Guardian notes that technological advances will curtail carbon intensity by 90 percent. But that won’t be enough to stay within the dimensions of the Paris accord. While China and India will make significant improvements, much of the forthcoming impact will occur in sub-Saharan Africa.

“Even if the 2C target isn’t met, action is very important,” Raftery said. “The more the temperature increases, the worse the impacts will be. We would warn against any tendency to use our results to say that we won’t avoid 2C, and so it’s too late to do anything. On the contrary, avoiding the higher temperature increases that our model envisages is even more important, and also requires urgent action.”

Where does business fit in?

Consider Marriott International: The company says it’s addressing climate goals by working toward transparent carbon pricing.

Its outlook and approach on climate change affect Marriott’s bottom line, the company says. For example, conference planners may send out a “request for proposal” that inquires how a hotel addresses climate change and water shortages. If a particular hotel is unable to account for such things, it will get passed over, says Denise Naguid, Marriott’s vice president of sustainability.

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"We're closer to the margin than we think," said Adrian Raftery, a University of Washington academic who led the research, as referenced in the Guardian. "If we want to avoid 2C, we have very little time left. The public should be very concerned."

The university adds that the odds are 90 percent such temperature increases will be between 2 degrees Celsius and 4.9 degrees Celsius by 2100. The Guardian notes that technological advances will curtail carbon intensity by 90 percent. But that won’t be enough to stay within the dimensions of the Paris accord. While China and India will make significant improvements, much of the forthcoming impact will occur in sub-Saharan Africa.

“Even if the 2C target isn’t met, action is very important,” Raftery said. “The more the temperature increases, the worse the impacts will be. We would warn against any tendency to use our results to say that we won’t avoid 2C, and so it’s too late to do anything. On the contrary, avoiding the higher temperature increases that our model envisages is even more important, and also requires urgent action.”

Where does business fit in?

Consider Marriott International: The company says it’s addressing climate goals by working toward transparent carbon pricing.

Its outlook and approach on climate change affect Marriott’s bottom line, the company says. For example, conference planners may send out a “request for proposal” that inquires how a hotel addresses climate change and water shortages. If a particular hotel is unable to account for such things, it will get passed over, says Denise Naguid, Marriott’s vice president of sustainability.

Read Full Article