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Sharpening The Cutting Edge

Corporate Action for a Strong, Low-Carbon Economy

This report assesses how companies have fared in addressing “cutting-edge issues.” The experiences of our corporate partners illustrate important progress and barriers.

Key Findings

Executive Summary

The window of opportunity to effectively respond to climate change is now. Leading scientists warn that global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions must begin to decline in ten years if we are to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. The United States is at a clear decision point. The scale of the climate challenge, paired with the investments needed to respond to a deep global recession, represent a unique opportunity to shift to a low-carbon economy that can provide a stronger, safer and more sustainable future. As users and producers of goods and services, businesses are central to an effective climate change response.

Moving forward, a complex set of transformations will be required to dramatically increase the efficiency of energy use, rapidly accelerate clean energy technology deployment, bridge the technology gap between today’s practices and tomorrow’s clean energy economy, and maximize the efficiency of the transportation system. Each of these transformations represents business risk and opportunity.However, while many companies recognize climate change is a business issue, corporate climate change goals and implementation strategies are not yet sufficient for achieving the scale of necessary GHG emission reductions.We need to forge a new definition of corporate leadership to build on the progress made to date and to adequately meet the scale and urgency of the climate challenge.

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