Sustainability and climate action

Global climate policy

We believe that climate action is everyone’s business

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As the institutional representative of 45 million companies worldwide, ICC works to accelerate sustainability and climate action.

We recognise the urgent need to keep the global temperature increase below 1.5° Celsius and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 and as such, are committed to championing and contributing to coherent policy frameworks in line with the Paris Climate Agreement and the latest climate science. Our aim? To raise global business ambition and to mobilise action at scale. 

ICC is the official Focal Point for Business to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and played a key role in advocating for the delivery of the Paris Agreement in 2015 and in shaping the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. We continue to work with our global network, including a wide range of partners, to ensure that climate policy frameworks are implemented in a way that works for and with business and through policies that recognise the defining role of business in promoting sustainable development. 

These commitments and contributions aim to instill in governments the confidence they need to increase the ambition of their climate policies. 

At ICC, we believe climate action is everyone’s business and that action from all stakeholders is vital to meeting the challenges and opportunities of the climate emergency. 

“ICC will continue to play a crucial role in identifying opportunities for governments and businesses to work together to build a shared agenda of solutions and actions for a more sustainable future for all.” 

Paul Polman, Former Chair, International Chamber of Commerce 

Our commitment 

The ICC Centenary Declaration, issued in May 2019, recognises the escalating climate emergency and wholly endorses the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C

John W.H. Denton AO
John W.H. Denton AOSecretary General, International Chamber of Commerce

"…Through our global network, we will advocate for policy frameworks that support the alignment of business operations with this target and help us to reach the additional goal of net zero emissions in many countries by 2050. "

Taking action

Through our network of regional representatives in over 170 countries, we are calling on national governments worldwide to raise climate ambition and action and to work with business in the developing and implementing effective policies and action across sectors that contribute to the achievement of the national climate plans – so called Nationally Determines Contributions. We are also working with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to ensure that business understands and is guided by the latest climate science. 

ICC has also developed a number of initiatives to help support an economy-wide approach to climate action. 

Most recently, ICC — together with a group with over 250 banks and corporates has embarked on a year-long journey to develop the first-ever industry taxonomy to define what constitutes a sustainable trade finance transaction — filling a major gap in existing practice within the financial sector. This is not straightforward work but the prize is potentially better aligning around USD 10 trillion in annual financial flows with the SDGs and Paris Agreement goals.  

The ICC Chambers Climate Coalition launched in 2019 is another example of our efforts to mobilise business at the grass roots that has seen over 2,100 Chambers of Commerce make the commitment to align with the goals of the Paris Agreement, as well as a new sustainability measurement tool specifically designed for MSMEs – ICC SME360x

“Taking serious and bold action to mitigate climate change is an urgent business issue. Failure to do so will hurt us all. Countries must go beyond the bare minimum and take transformative action if we are to achieve the goals set out in the Paris Agreement.” 

John W.H. Denton AO, Secretary General, International Chamber of Commerce 

Relevant documents