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We’re going to COP26 to demand greater climate action

The next decade is make or break for our climate. If we can keep the global temperature rise to 1.5°C we can avert a catastrophe. But as a world community we are not on track. That’s why we’re calling for a huge step- up in ambition and action from governments and business.

The 2015 Paris Agreement was a defining moment in the fight against climate change. Together, the world agreed we must keep the global temperature rise well below 2°C and pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5°C. Since then, it has become clear that limiting warming to 1.5°C is the only way to avoid a climate catastrophe.

COP26, the next global climate conference, to be held in Glasgow later this month, will be another key moment. It is an opportunity to turn the Paris Agreement into action: for governments, business, and civil society to come together and to put in more of the groundwork that will make climate action happen quickly.

For the sake of people and planet, this is an opportunity everyone must seize. And as a principal partner of COP26, our hope is that we can use our voice and influence to help accelerate climate action globally.

Businesses and governments must do much more, now

Businesses everywhere should be setting net zero goals now, with action plans and milestones, reporting on their progress, and engaging with suppliers, investors, and governments.

By helping to drive a faster transition to low-carbon, resilient economies, businesses can empower policymakers to be more ambitious. In turn, by creating the right combination of incentives, policies and frameworks, governments will help to propel business action to get the world on track to 1.5°C.

We want to see regulation to phase out coal and other fossil fuels, a price on carbon that reflects its true cost to society and nature, and a switch to renewable energy and electric vehicles. This should be coupled with an immediate roll- out of nature-based solutions and policies, which have a huge role to play in limiting warming to 1.5°C.

So ahead of COP26, every government needs to set a stretching climate target, which will help halve global emissions by 2030 and achieve net zero by 2050 at the latest. And share a pathway for how they will reach it.

We also need governments to protect people and livelihoods by providing support for developing countries, and climate finance to help people adapt and build resilience to climate change impacts. These impacts are already being felt everywhere and many of them are likely to continue or get worse, even in a 1.5°C future.

Doing all that we can within our own organisation

Protecting the planet is the right thing to do. It also makes good financial sense for business.

We know our consumers expect to see climate leadership and from the materials we source to the product information we share, we’ll do our best to help them to make sustainable choices. Which is why we’re making sure that as an organisation we’re doing as much as we can to tackle climate change within our own backyard.

We published our Climate Transition Action Plan (PDF | 11MB) to be transparent about our approach and to encourage other companies to follow.

Led by climate science, our ambitious climate goals include having emissions-free operations by 2030 and achieving net zero emissions in our value chain by 2039. We’re switching to 100% renewable energy and electric vehicles, and working with our suppliers and innovation partners to scale up solutions that protect people and planet.

We also know that biodiversity loss and climate change are deeply interconnected. Actions that allow nature to flourish will also benefit climate, and vice versa, and so must be tackled at the same time. So we’re ending deforestation in our supply chain, preserving water, and regenerating agriculture.

Everything is connected

While we work to lower our own emissions and engage our suppliers to take action too, the lion’s share of our value chain emissions falls outside our direct control.

We’re inextricably linked to the wider world around us – from the way our employees commute to work, to the energy consumed while using our products and the recycling facilities available to our end consumers.

We know we can’t do it alone. So in two weeks’ time, our brands and our people will be at COP26 in Glasgow, fighting for bolder and faster action. Because the planet’s future, and our own futures, depend on it. Are you joining the fight?