LONDON, TORONTO and WASHINGTON DC, Sep. 29 /CSRwire/ - A meaningful global agreement on climate change would unleash a wave of innovation and investment in renewable energy and low carbon products and services, according to a new global poll of sustainability experts conducted in August 2009
Findings from The Sustainability Survey Poll on Climate Change, conducted by GlobeScan and SustainAbility, show that thought leaders across the world believe that the achievement of a strong international agreement at the UN conference in Copenhagen in December would lead to tremendous growth opportunities in the areas of renewable energy and low carbon products and services.
Further, the survey of 1,400 influential thought leaders from companies, governments, NGOs, and academia from over 80 countries also predicts that a meaningful deal in Copenhagen would increase government regulations of emissions, raise public awareness, and result in greater leadership from global companies to limit emissions, compared to what would occur if no meaningful agreement is reached.
However, an overwhelming majority of experts do not believe that COP-15 negotiations will result in a meaningful agreement. While few experts predict a complete failure to reach an international agreement to limit climate change, more than eight out of ten experts say the meetings will likely result in an agreement that is not sufficiently stringent to avoid major, irreversible damage to human, social and ecosystem health.
Irrespective of the COP-15 outcome, experts expect increasing pressures – including higher energy prices, increased public awareness/concern, and more intense NGO campaigning – pointing to the need for companies to act now to take on more active roles in shaping government climate change policies, and enacting more aggressive corporate climate change strategies.
Jeff Erikson, Vice President at SustainAbility, comments: “The economic downturn and the climate change challenge together present the ideal opportunity for businesses to carve out new sources of competitive advantage and market leadership. Those companies that develop low-carbon solutions now will be best positioned to mitigate the risks and capitalize on the wealth of opportunities posed by climate change.”
Chris Coulter, Vice President at GlobeScan, adds: “If experts are right and a ‘Plan B’ agreement is negotiated in Copenhagen, we can expect an increase in activism from civil society, with greater attention on individual companies and industries.”
About The Sustainability Survey
The Sustainability Survey is a comprehensive program of research, analysis, and solutions that assists corporate leaders in navigating the challenges and opportunities related to sustainability. At the core of The Sustainability Survey are research-driven insights from ongoing polling of the most influential thought leaders in the sustainable development arena. The quantitative results then inform forward-looking strategic counsel for companies participating in the research program. The results in this release come from an online survey that was conducted between July and August 2009 with 1,385 experts from 83 countries.
GlobeScan is a global survey research firm providing strategic advice to companies, multilateral institutions, governments and NGOs, on reputation, sustainability, and corporate responsibility. The company is a world leader in conducting comprehensive general public and stakeholder survey research in all regions of the world. www.GlobeScan.com.
SustainAbility is a strategy consultancy and think tank working with senior corporate decision makers to achieve transformative leadership on the sustainability agenda. We offer a range of services designed to create financial value at the same time as addressing environmental, social and governance issues in an integrated manner. SustainAbility also undertakes advocacy to contribute to a policy environment and broader public understanding aligned with our ESG goals. www.sustainability.com.
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