Responsible business conduct and climate change
What does it mean for business to act responsibly in the face of the climate crisis and how can OECD’s RBC instruments support both business and government?
Achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement requires collective action from governments and non-state actors, in particular, the private sector. For business, this means i) reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and thereby the adverse climate related impacts of their operations on people and the planet; and ii) strengthening the resilience of companies and their supply chains in order to address and adapt to climate change - including impacts on workers, local communities and the natural environment.
The 2021 report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) highlights that achieving a “minimum” target of net-zero emissions by 2050 is critical in order to limit global warming to 1.5C. This would require at least halving global emissions by 2030 as an interim ambition. As a result, there have been a proliferation of net-zero emission reduction targets by business and other non-party stakeholders. Those businesses that are able to reduce emissions in their operations and supply chains and deliver a just transition to net-zero, will be better able to meet investor and consumer expectations, maintain social licence to operate, mitigate reputational damage, increase competitiveness and protect their bottom line.
The OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises on Responsible Business Conduct and related tools can help business ensure net-zero targets are implemented with integrity, accountability and responsibility – taking into account impacts on both people and the planet. The Guidelines not only capture a broad range of social and environmental expectations but are also government backed and can help business ensure that their net-zero targets align with international commitments, including countries nationally determined contributions under the Paris Agreement.
OECD-UN Climate Change session - Global Climate Action and Responsible Business Conduct: What does it mean for business to act responsibly in the face of a climate crisis?
Quote : Dante Pesce - member of the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights, discuss the session : "the OECD Guidelines for MNEs provides the how to business to help them identify their impacts in a 360 degree way and avoid silos"
Global Climate Action and RBC
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To find out more about how to participate in this work, please contact Stephanie Venuti Stephanie.VENUTI@oecd.org
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