As we approach COP28, humanity is still far from solving its biggest challenge. Following years of insufficient action, the COP21 ambition agreed upon in Paris may be slipping out of reach—less than ten years after its formulation. We must strengthen our resolve and immediately shift from incremental to exponential actions.
To retain any chance of limiting global warming below 1.5°C, global emissions must decrease by around 7% annually until 2030—but emissions are still increasing today by 1.5% per year. (See the exhibit.)
The current pace of international climate action is insufficient across the board:
It seems like a stale warning, but we are running out of time, and even higher thresholds like “well under 2°C” are increasingly at risk. Adaptation will not be sufficient to deal with the future we are currently steering our planet toward. We must drastically step up our mitigation efforts. Every tenth of a degree counts.
We are getting dangerously close to setting off cascading tipping points that threaten the future of our planet. In this report, we offer an honest assessment of where we fall short on global climate action—and what is required to succeed.
To realize the ambitions set out in the Paris accord, a massive technology shift is needed across all economic sectors. Non-fossil solutions already exist to mitigate most global emissions.
In our new report, coauthored with the WEF Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders, we explore how other companies can take a similar path by identifying, creating, and scaling green businesses. Among the insights:
To create a compelling green offering and to secure the resources necessary to deliver it, both downstream and upstream companies need to rethink their go-to-market approach and take six critical actions:
Even as global climate action accelerates, many companies remain ill prepared. They underestimate the magnitude of the change ahead, and they act too conservatively, putting themselves at risk of ending up with stranded assets and obsolete business models.
Leading companies in an array of sectors—from automotive to food and from shipping to power—are starting to prove that the net-zero transition is a business opportunity that can bring sustainable competitive advantage. These leaders are not just creating more value; in many cases, they are changing the game in their industries by showing the way to a profitable, sustainable future.
Consider three facts about early movers on climate change:
CEOs across all sectors must navigate an unprecedented global transformation. On the path to net zero, they must successfully transform their strategy, operations, business portfolio, and organization. There is no blueprint for what lies ahead, but we can identify challenges to look out for and moves to consider. To this end, BCG and the World Economic Forum have collaborated to produce the CEO Guide to Climate Advantage.
We encourage business leaders to read the full guide, but here are the four key building blocks for a net-zero transformation:
It’s time to commit, engage, and act. The world is embarking on the biggest transformation in history. This is a time like no other for bold, ambitious leadership. It’s time to move.