COP 23/CMP 13: High-Level Meeting of Caring for Climate

  • Overview

    The UN Global Compact together with UN Environment and UNFCCC secretariat will convene the annual High-Level Meeting of Caring for Climate at COP 23/CMP 13 inviting senior executives of business and finance, civil society, the UN and Governments to discuss a pathway forward towards low-carbon and resilient development. The meeting serves as a high-level stakeholder consultation — with a focus on private sector engagement — to inform the UN Secretary-General’s climate strategy leading up to the 2019 UN Climate Summit. A Global Climate Action Playbook will be launched equipping business with a set of policy updates, tools and analysis to enhance nationally determined contributions and the sustainable development goals.  

    The meeting is invitation only. For more information, please send an email to

    Business Events during COP 23

    There are a number of different events in and around COP 23/CMP 13 with a business focus, and many other events that welcome private sector participation. Some are organized by United Nations entities, and many others are convened by outside organizations. In addition, under the Marrakesh Partnership for Global Climate Action, numerous events will be held throughout COP 23/CMP 13 covering a variety of themes related to climate change and sustainable development relevant for business and investors. 

    Business Events during COP 23 [PDF]

    Climate Action Platform

    Become a catalyst for enhancing country-level action to meet the ambitions of the Paris Agreement and the SDGs.

    Why Pathways to Low-Carbon and Resilient Development?

    With the Paris Agreement in force, businesses and investors have a critical role to play in climate-proofing our global economy and ensuring a swift transition to a low-carbon, resilient world. Today’s business leadership standards and commitments on climate change—from carbon pricing, science-based targets, sourcing 100 per cent renewable energy, adaptation, to responsible policy engagement—can be scaled significantly to become mainstream practice to keep our planet’s warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius. Now it is time for business leaders to implement climate action deep into local markets everywhere and pioneer a pathway forward to ensure a sustainable future for all.

    Take Action on Climate Change

    Pathways to Low-Carbon and Resilient Development aims to mobilize the private sector to become a catalyst for enhancing country-level action to meet the ambitions of the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The action platform will provide a collaborative space for companies and key stakeholders to share, learn, and identify effective ways to contribute to Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) and SDG implementation.Building on the decade’s work of Caring for Climate, the United Nations Global Compact is uniquely positioned to scale the progress made by business to date on global climate action and to translate it into country-level action through Global Compact Local Networks and UN partners. It will also provide a channel for the outcomes of the platform to feed into the larger non-state actor agenda of the Paris Agreement and its linkages to the SDGs

    Join the Pathways for Low-Carbon and Resilient Development to:
    • Gain practical insights, knowledge and tools on key trends in climate policy and related impact for business and finance at the country-level
    • Receive guidance on enhancing climate and development integration into corporate business planning
    • Engage in a series of policy dialogues, industry-level workshops and relevant global and national climate and SDG conferences
    • Contribute to key UN and international processes on climate and development

    Platform Activities

    Access Global Webinar Series
    Shape Leading Guidance and Tools

    Gain access to briefings and conversations on the role of business in advancing and accelerating NDC and SDG action plans.

    Provide input to key knowledge products and tools on corporate goal setting on climate and development

    Foster Local Climate Action
    Contribute to Global Policy Process

    Participate in collective action and partnerships at the local level to advance SDG13, in particular in relation to commitment areas such as carbon pricing, science based targets, adaptation, and responsible policy engagement.

    Deepen Global Climate Action/Caring for Climate commitment areas and contribute to stock-taking efforts of COP

    Platform Partners

    Science Based Targets

    Further, Faster, Together with Corporate Science Based Targets

    The Paris Agreement marked the beginning of a new era in climate action. By committing to keep global temperature rise well below 2 degrees and as close to 1.5 degrees Celsius as possible, the 197 parties that signed the Agreement helped to trigger unprecedented momentum to combat climate change.

    The message was clear: to leave no one behind, to embrace the opportunities of a once-in-a-generation economic transition and deliver a low carbon, resilient, global economy.

    The UN climate-change process hasn’t only gained universal support from national Governments; many of the world’s largest companies successfully campaigned for a binding agreement in Paris. Since the agreement entered into force on 4 November 2016, we’ve seen continuous unprecedented action from investors, civil society, local governments and businesses alike. To date these stakeholders have mobilized more than 12,500 commitments on climate action from 180 countries.

    It was out of that spirit of ambition that the Science Based Targets initiative was born. Science-based targets set out a clearly-defined pathway for companies to align their emissions cuts with what’s needed to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.

    Today, more companies than ever are signing up to act on climate change and play their part in delivering on the aims agreed in Paris. For many companies, it is not simply a question of managing the reputational risks that come with inaction, but also of seizing the opportunities that the low-carbon economy offers. They are mainstreaming changes in energy procurement, value chain engagement and energy efficiency for entire sectors.

    Since December 2015, almost 250 companies have committed to align their Greenhouse Gas emission reductions targets with a 2-degree pathway, bringing the total to well over 300 today. These commitments are represented by major players across sectors. Over 70 of these companies, including Mars and Nokia, have had their emissions reduction targets independently validated by the Science Based Targets initiative.

    Science-based targets have moved into the mainstream

    This year alone, more than 95 new companies have committed to set a science-based target — that’s an average of more than two per week — and 45 new targets have been approved. Companies with targets approved in 2017 include Danone, DONG Energy, Marks & Spencer and Ricoh.

    These commitments signal the emergence of a ‘new normal’ in the way companies are developing their strategies for the future.

    While the U.S. administration's decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement sent shockwaves through the global community, U.S. companies are ramping up their commitment to tackling climate change. Science-based targets give them a powerful way to show they are still in the Paris Agreement.

    So far, 57 U.S. companies, representing US$2.2 trillion in market value, have now committed to set science-based targets, the most of any country.

    Building global momentum

    We are seeing a new corporate model emerge that is pushing faster on climate action than almost anyone thought possible. Major consumer brands, from L’Oréal to Unilever, are now well on their way to a low-carbon future. These companies are at the forefront to accelerating climate action, and a growing number of companies are following suit.

    And this is only the start. According to a recent analysis by CDP, 14% of the world’s largest, most environmentally-impactful companies have committed to, or have targets approved by, the Science Based Targets initiative. Another 317 companies from CDP’s high-impact sample say they have ambitions to set science-based targets in the next two years.

    What can science-based targets do for national climate action plans?

    The Science Based Targets initiative is a strong signal to the international community that business is taking its environmental responsibilities seriously. As Governments meet in Bonn to discuss a fast implementation of the Paris Agreement and raised ambition for the national climate action plans, known as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), the rise in science-based target-setting sends a clear signal that business is ready to deliver.

    The Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals have become a strategic business agenda. Growing corporate commitment to reducing emissions means Governments can be confident in raising their own levels of ambition, and Governments are also waking up to the role businesses will play in putting us on the zero-carbon pathway.

    Take Japan, for example. The Japanese Environment Ministry has highlighted the need for companies to set ambitious carbon reduction goals consistent with the Paris Agreement, and has linked such efforts with its NDC. It has issued guidance to companies on adopting science-based targets and is providing support to companies that want to commit to a science-based target and calculate emissions from their supply chains.

    It is crystal clear companies’ and countries’ goals can reinforce and enhance one another. Through the Global Climate Action Playbook 2018 launched at COP 23, the United Nations Global Compact and its partners, including World Resources Institute, are guiding companies to give countries confidence that company commitments — such as Science Based Targets — support and enhance NDCs to keep temperatures well below 2°C.

    Deepening collaboration between state and non-state actors

    UN Secretary-General António Guterres will convene a high-level Summit in 2019 targeting sectors that could have the greatest impacts on reducing emissions and building climate resilience. It is our firm hope that by this time, more companies worldwide will have joined the global climate movement by committing to science-based targets. Together, we can drive forward climate action and support national Governments in increasing the ambition of their carbon emissions reduction targets.

    We cannot thrive in a world of poverty, inequality, unrest and environmental stress — all exacerbated by climate change. By combating climate change and delivering a low carbon and resilient global economy, we can ensure the most vulnerable among us are not left behind. But this can only happen if we swiftly increase the scale and pace of this movement.

    By working further, faster, together, Governments and companies can create a mutually reinforcing cycle to boost ambitious action on climate change.

    Lila Karbassi

    Chief, Programmes

    United Nations Global Compact


    In collaboration with