Climate change in the international context
The changing climate on Earth has significant ecological, economic and social impacts. Therefore, ever since 1990´s governments, important companies and experts have been looking for and adopting a range of measures which would lead to reduction of greenhouse gases emissions, which are the main cause of climate change. However, it was only in 2015 when the Climate Conference in Paris (COP21) took place that can be considered a historical milestone in the climate protection. The treaty which was adopted at the end of the conference by all 195 contractual parties expects the involvement of the whole world in ensuring more efficient climate protection of Earth after 2020.
The European Union committed itself as one community to reduce emissions by at least 40 % by 2030 (compared to 1990) at COP21. This obligation supplements the pan-European binding objective to increase the ratio of renewable sources in energy consumption to at least 27% and an indicative objective for increasing energy efficiency by at least 27 % (both of these by 2030).
The main objective of the Treaty is to sustain the increase of average global temperature under 2 °C by the end of 21st century compared to the pre-industrial time. This increase in temperature is according to climate experts the borderline under which the Earth´ s climate and depending ecosystems essential for nutrition of increasing human population is able to adapt, in a certain way, to altered conditions.
Climate protection at companies levels
Reducing greenhouse gases emissions has also become a major issue for the future of entrepreneurship. The biggest global initiative CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project), which motivates companies to monitor and reduce impacts of their activities on the Earth´s climate system, nowadays unites 850 investors with assets in the amount of 95 billion Dollars. Over 5000 companies worldwide voluntarily send their annual data on greenhouse gases emissions and activities on climate protection into the global CDP database.
Climate protection is usually a priority or at least a standard among major international companies.
97% of the companies report greenhouse gases emissions from consumption among 500 most significant companies based on turnover worldwide. 70% of multinational companies has set a particular objective of reducing emissions and a policy to its achievement. The obligation to report to investors the information on the environment and social aspects of doing business concerns 6000 companies in the European Union, in China 20 000 companies.
At the beginning of March 2016, in compliance with conclusions of the recent COP 21 conference and in compliance with independent expert analysis, the coalition of significant European companies, associations and non-governmental organisation called upon the European Commission, European Parliament and the highest representatives of the EU member states to have higher ambitions (compared to the current obligation to reduce emissions by 40%) and to stipulate longer-terms objectives concerning the shift to low-carbon economy after 2030.