Transition to a Low-Carbon Economy

Public Goals and Corporate Practices

image of Transition to a Low-Carbon Economy
Companies are increasingly aware of the need to address climate change. However, while many companies are taking action to address climate change, many others are still lagging behind.  This report surveys responsible business practices addressing climate change and driving the shift to a low-carbon economy. It summarises policies, regulations and other instruments in support of a low carbon economy in OECD countries and emerging economies, and analyses corporate responses to these drivers.

Using the principles of responsible business conduct identified in the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, this report reviews three key areas of corporate action: accounting for greenhouse gas emissions; achieving emissions reductions; and engaging suppliers, consumers and other stakeholders.

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Introduction – Business and Climate Change

the Broad Picture

Awareness of the need to transition to a low-carbon economy has gained particular momentum in the last few years, especially in the run-up to the Copenhagen Conference in December 2009. The Copenhagen Accord demonstrated the resolve of countries to move forward to limit global GHG emissions. One of the key elements of the Accord is the commitment by Annex I countries to implement individually or jointly quantified economy-wide emissions reduction targets for 2020, and by a number of non Non-Annex I countries to implement mitigation actions.1 When combined with the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, these agreements contribute to a more predictable international framework for cooperation on climate change through 2020. They also frame expectations that nations will continue to strengthen cooperation to achieve global emission reductions and prevent dangerous climate change over the longer term.

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