A Global Call for Businesses to Center Climate Action in People and Justice(Photo by Vlad Hilitanu on Unsplash)The escalating climate crisis endangers all of us, but its effects are and will not be felt equally by everyone. The unjust aspects of climate change mean that climate-related natural disasters are more likely to hit lower-income communities that are less equipped to deal with the impacts. It means the younger generations least responsible for climate change are likely to suffer more consequences. It means women and children are more at risk of dying from climate-caused disasters. It means more than 90% of greenhouse gas emissions are produced by Global North countries that make up only 20% of the world’s population. These inequalities make interdependence and inclusion in any climate action efforts a requirement if we are to be successful in climate mitigation, adaptation, and resilience.
Last year, climate scientists warned that greenhouse gas emissions must be halved in the next 10 years to avoid the worst effects of climate change, making this decade pivotal to the future of our planet and the people and other living creatures who inhabit it. It is vital to put the most affected people at the center of climate action and acknowledge that social and environmental issues are not exclusive. Rather, both must be addressed for effective, lasting change.
While governments can take the lead in setting policy goals, businesses are the single largest contributor to climate change. Companies that incorporate stakeholders in their decisions — such as Certified B Corporations — are taking responsibility to reduce their negative environmental impacts and leading the way for other businesses to follow suit.
In the absence of resources to help businesses advance climate justice, B Lab and the B Corp Climate Collective teamed up with the COP26 Climate Champions Team, Provoc, and the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship at the University of Oxford to create the Climate Justice Playbook for Business V1.0, a new resource from leading private sector and climate experts.