Executives from some of the largest businesses in the world are calling on leaders at this year's G7 summit to take more action to combat climate change. A group of executives focused on sustainability in business wrote a letter to the leaders at the summit asking them to do more to facilitate the adoption of clean energies, investment in carbon capture, and the overall transition towards a sustainable future.
"Tackling climate change is complex and expensive," the letter reads. "But our companies and many others within the Sustainable Markets Initiative are already taking major strides in that direction. If the G7, G20, Commonwealth and others can act on this plan, can work with the private sector to help accelerate our progress, we can do this."
The Sustainable Markets Initiative (SMI) is a group of CEOs from more than 400 major companies representing "every sector" of business and chaired by His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales. The CEOs in the Initiative lead businesses around the world, including Wateraid U.K., India-based Mahindra Group
The letter lays out three separate ways that the CEOs want the G7 officials to act. First, the CEOs are calling on these government leaders to discourage the release of greenhouse gasses by ramping up carbon pricing.
"At between $30-70 per tonne, investing in coal no longer makes sense. At between $70-120 per tonne, it becomes more viable for sectors like steel and cement to invest in hydrogen-based production techniques and deploy carbon capture," the letter reads. "Above $120 per tonne a range of negative-emissions technologies become financially attractive, including sucking carbon dioxide directly from the atmosphere."
Next, the CEOs are asking the G7 group to "optimize" public funding to encourage sustainability. This includes choosing low-carbon options, investing in technological innovation, and investing in the development of the workforce. The letter also calls on multilateral development banks and other financial institutions to adopt a "new approach" to do what they can to contribute to a sustainable world.
"Their goal can be to use their relationships and insights to establish a strong pipeline of investable projects," the CEOs wrote. "They can then use their funds to reduce the risk of investing for the private sector, whether through guarantees, insurance mechanisms or other tools. It is by using their funds to clear the way for private finance to flow that these institutions can maximise their impact in the world."
Finally, the letter asks global governments to introduce new sustainability mandates for the private sector. Specifically, the CEOs are asking for a "stable and predictable" environment for businesses regarding climate action, including new product standards and new requirements for sustainable fuel for planes.
In closing, the CEOs reaffirmed the 2021 G20 recommendation to end the use of coal in advanced economies by 2030 and a complete end to the use of coal by 2040.
The majority of the focus at G7 has been on the energy crisis currently engulfing the globe. Alongside climate change, the COVID-19 pandemic is another issue that has largely fallen to the wayside, despite its continued presence.
The G7 leaders released a statement on Wednesday pledging to accelerate efforts against climate change, but the statement largely failed to laid out any specific promises. As a result, climate advocates came out in force to criticize the milquetoast response.