Tackling Climate Change Requires Concerted Efforts—Yusuf, Country Manager, Accenture

By Adebayo Dawodu

As concerns about climate change intensify all over the world and countries gear up toward reducing carbon emission, world leaders, policy makers, governments and corporate organisations have been urged to concert efforts and accelerate actions in a bid to tackle the threat posed by climate change.

Country Manager for Accenture in Nigeria, Mr. Niyi Yussuf made this call recently while analysing findings by the United Nations Global Compact-Accenture CEO Study, ‘Special Edition: A Call to Climate Action’ released in November 2015.

The study, which was carried out using surveys conducted with CEOs of Caring for Climate participant companies, business leaders from 750 Global Compact participants, drawn from 152 countries across 41 industry sectors and participants, reported that “91 percent of business leaders believe that climate change is an urgent priority for businesses, progress is on track to restrict global warming to less than 2 degree Celsius, while 66 percent believe business is not doing enough to tackle climate change.”

While highlighting the growth and innovation opportunities attached to efforts towards combating climate change, the study reported that 70 percent (of leaders from the world’s largest companies) see opportunities for growth and innovation, 67 percent report a clear business case for action, while 69 percent see investment in climate solutions as essential to competitive advantage.”

But amid this strong belief in the importance of urgent action, and the opportunities that action on climate change can present, the study showed that “just one-third of business leaders surveyed believe that progress is on track to restrict global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius (2C)—and just one-third believe that companies in their industry are doing enough.”

Mr. Yusuf, therefore, said: “Climate change is a momentous threat to development, to peace and security, and to market stability. While the pace of action by governments, businesses and society at large has increased, our efforts, individually and collectively, must be accelerated further if the threat of catastrophic climate change is to be removed effectively. It is with this in mind that we renew our call to the business community to make a lasting commitment to climate action now.”

He also added that it will require enabling action on the part of governments and policymakers in order to unlock the potential of the private sector.

According to him, joint efforts will result in great results as business leaders are moving to innovate climate solutions and adopt low-carbon business models, while companies in every region and in every industry sector are already realizing opportunities for growth and innovation in addressing the climate challenge..

The Country Manager for Accenture concluded that CEOs see five critical policy measures that can unlock further private sector investment and address the climate challenge, namely ‘legislative and fiscal mechanisms to increase investment in climate solutions; financial instruments to stimulate R&D and innovation; performance standards to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and enhance climate resilience, global, robust and predictable carbon pricing mechanisms; and removal or phasing out of fossil fuel subsidies in low-carbon solutions