The 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP21, is currently underway in Paris. The expected outcome of this crucial conference is a new international agreement on climate change to keep global warming below 2°C. Our parent company, ENGIE, is heavily involved in COP21 — and in conjunction with their onsite efforts, Ecova was asked to participate in a project ENGIE organized to poll global employees about their opinions on climate change.
ENGIE was a major sponsor of the 2015 global forum, World Wide Views on Climate and Energy, a conference to discuss the challenges of climate change, climate negotiations and policies with people around the world. The findings of that forum are being presented in a white paper at COP21 on how the climate change debate is unfolding within the corporate environment. To increase its review of impacted stakeholder groups, ENGIE asked its employees worldwide to get involved with the discussion as well.
Last month, Ecova employees in Boston, Seattle, and Portland — along with our ENGIE North America colleagues in Houston—participated in round table discussions on climate change. The discussions, facilitated by Ecova’s carbon experts, covered topics relating to the responsibility for climate change, how greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions should be reduced and how plans to do so should be implemented and enforced. One key takeaway even before assessing responses was that we have very invested employees: we saw high involvement rates and enriching, lively and respectful debates at all
Our four offices were among twenty ENGIE teams in Chile, Brazil, Mexico, USA, UK, France, Belgium, Morocco, Thailand, Indonesia, China and India that took part in similar discussions. Employees from almost 50 countries also completed a survey covering climate change topics. Survey results, along with roundtable discussion results, have been integrated into ENGIE’s white paper titled “ENGIE Debate: Climate & Energy,” presented today at COP21 by ENGIE CEO Gerard Mestrallet.
This international survey includes an in-depth discussion of results, including the following
- ENGIE employees are concerned about climate change: 98 percent of ENGIE employees are “very concerned” or “moderately concerned” about climate change.
- Tackling climate change is an opportunity: 81 percent of ENGIE employees polled believe that measures aimed at combating climate change are an opportunity to improve their quality of life.
- Climate change is a global issue: Over 70 percent of employees, citizens, and shareholders polled believe that combating climate change is a global responsibility.
- Opinions of citizens and employees regarding the measures to tackle climate change are converging: 50 percent of ENGIE employees and shareholders believe that support for research and development of low-carbon energy is required to achieve significant reductions in greenhouse emissions.
- Carbon pricing is an opportunity to develop and finance clean energy: 84 percent of employees, 88 percent of world citizens, and 74 percent if individual shareholders polled are in favor of carbon pricing.
- There is a desire for global accountability: Over 70 percent of employees, shareholders and citizens polled believe that the COP21 agreement should include national short-term goals that are legally binding.
- Education is key: 78 percent of world citizens polled believe that educational programs on climate change are the best tools for fighting climate change.
Ecova recently signed the National Climate Declaration, a call to action from over 1,200 leading American businesses urging the public, policymakers and business leaders to seize the economic opportunity to tackle climate change. The roundtable discussions were a great opportunity for our employees to be a part of the global debate around climate change and to engage around a very timely and relevant topic.
How is the climate change debate unfolding within your corporate environment? Share in the comments section below.