The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
United Nations Development Programme
At the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit on 25 September 2015, world leaders adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which includes a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and tackle climate change by 2030.
The Business Call to Action (BCtA) aims to accelerate progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by challenging companies to develop inclusive business models that offer the potential for both commercial success and development impact
Businesses of all sizes are also urged to align their commercial strategy with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
The Paris Agreement
The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change
COP21 in Paris in December 2015 negotiated the Paris Agreement, a global agreement on the reduction of climate change, representing a consensus of the representatives of the 196 parties that attended. In order to become legally binding, the agreement will need to be signed in April 2016 by at least 55 countries which together represent at least 55 percent of global greenhouse emissions. The Paris Agreement sets a goal of limiting global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius (°C) - and to pursue efforts to limit the increase to 1.5 degrees - compared to pre-industrial levels and for zero net anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions to be reached during the second half of the 21st century.
It is generally agreed that the Paris Agreement will create a new impetus for the transition low-carbon busines. Once ratified, it is likely to increase the market opportunity for low carbon technologies and services, unlocking capital to drive growth. Progressive businesses are already forming coalitions to work towards outcomes such as 100% renewable power, science-based climate goals and reduction of emissions from the built environment.