kortenhorst7_Kristian BuusIn Pictures via Getty Images_davoswefclimateprotest Kristian Buus/In Pictures via Getty Images

Net-Zero at Davos

The World Economic Forum used its influential annual meeting in Davos this year to issue a call to arms on climate change. Corporate and finance leaders must recognize that as members of the global elite, they have a duty to lead the charge toward a clean, low-carbon economy.

DAVOS – At its annual flagship meeting in Davos, Switzerland, this year, the World Economic Forum called on companies from around the world to commit to reducing their greenhouse-gas emissions to net-zero by 2050 at the latest. Climate science shows us that such reductions are necessary both to meet the goals of the 2015 Paris climate agreement and to prevent catastrophic climate change.

Naturally, we at the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) welcome the WEF’s challenge to the global business community. It is both timely and appropriate. It makes clear to business leaders that, as members of the “Davos elite,” they have a responsibility to set an example by taking bold, immediate action to reduce emissions. And this year’s meeting, the WEF notes, “is a perfect opportunity” to demonstrate leadership on this critical issue.

On my first full day in Davos, I attended a breakfast session where Royal DSM CEO Feike Sijbesma spoke about what it means to be part of that Davos elite. He reminded everyone in the room that with this special status comes a unique responsibility to make the world a better place. To my mind, the French expression noblesse oblige captures this idea quite well.

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