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14th December 2015

Highlights: The B Team at COP21

The B Team Leaders went to Paris to demonstrate business support for a clear, long-term goal embedded in the COP 21 agreement, and that the right goal is net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The B Team Leaders emphasized that an ambitious climate agreement would send a clear signal to markets to increase investments in clean energy, and accelerate the transition to a thriving and just net-zero emissions economy.

At the half way mark of the two week climate negotiations The B Team hosted a group of CEOs to share their reflections on the negotiations, what needed to happen in week two, and the role of business in bringing a net-zero emissions economy into fruition post COP.

B Team Leaders Sir Richard Branson, Sharan Burrow, Kathy Calvin, David Crane, Gro Harlem Brundtland, Dr. Mo Ibrahim, Guilherme Leal, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Zhang Yue and Jochen Zeitz were joined by John-Paul Agon, CEO of L'Oreal, Josh Bayliss, CEO of Virgin Airlines, Marc Bolland, CEO of Marks and Spencer, Jean-Pierre Clamadieu, CEO of Solvay, Bruno Lafont, Honorary Chairman of Larfarge and Jean-Pascal Tricoire, CEO of Schneider along with Kumi Naidoo, International Executive Director of Greenpeace, to give their reflections.

“We believe that net zero by 2050 would at least get us to 2 degrees, leaving the door open for further reduction to 1.5, which should be something we should be looking at in the future. We believe the business case for net zero in 2050 is irrefutable,” said Jochen Zeitz, Director of Kering & Harley Davidson and Co-Founder & Co-Chair of the B Team.

Media coverage of The B Team's activity at COP:

They urged governments to adopt a sufficiently ambitious deal to wrench the world onto a path of falling emissions – making it potentially practical, down the road, to a lower temperature target that the countries of the world have set as an upper limit on global warming. The New York Times

The corporate leaders suggested their support for a strong agreement provides an important counterweight to the fossil fuel industry, especially in the US, which has blocked action on climate change. But they said they believed that the economy had reached a tipping point in terms of moving towards greener sources of energy. The Guardian

In an unusual alliance spanning companies and civil society, the "B Team" is an extreme in the business world by arguing that radical measures to cut greenhouse gas emissions can promote, rather than hinder, growth, jobs and profits. Thomson Reuters