Indonesia has been called on by the international community and scientists to be more active in combating climate change. (Reuters/Mathieu Belanger)

CEOs From Dow to HSBC Call for Leaders to Act on Climate Change


APRIL 17, 2015

The bosses of 43 companies including Ikea, Dow Chemical and HSBC Holdings called for swift action on climate change, a sign businesses are prepared for a United Nations deal this year on limiting fossil fuel emissions.

The chief executive officers in an open letter promised to move their own businesses toward a low-carbon economy and called on world leaders to seal an ambitious global agreement on curbing heat-trapping gases in December in Paris. The executives oversee companies in 20 industries with a combined $1.2 trillion in sales last year.

“This initiative is a significant commitment in efforts to combat climate change,” Iberdrola chief executive Ignacio Galan said in an e-mailed statement. “As businesses, we have the obligation to contribute to sustainable development by fully integrating the environmental dimension in our strategy and management.”

The letter, signed by executives from mobile phone company Ericsson, insurer Allianz and the biggest wind turbine maker Vestas Wind Systems, is a reminder to envoys from some 190 nations to ratchet up ambitions for the Paris meeting that the UN is organizing.

With greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels at record levels, global temperatures are on track to warm by 3.6 degrees Celsius by the end of the century. That’s the quickest shift in the climate in 10,000 years, which scientists say raises risks of more violent storms and rising seas.