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Freshfields signs open letter to the G20 leaders calling for greater climate ambition

Freshfields, alongside 600+ global businesses, is calling on the G20 leaders to halve emissions by 2030 and to end support for coal power

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (‘Freshfields’) has signed an open letter from the business community to the G20 leaders, an initiative led by the We Mean Business Coalition, calling for governments across the G20 to redirect public spending towards keeping the 1.5ºC climate goal within reach, and to strengthen national climate targets at the G20 and COP26 talks.

The We Mean Business Coalition is a group of seven non-profit organizations working to catalyze business and policy action to halve emissions by 2030 and accelerate an inclusive transition to a global net-zero economy by 2050.

Georgia Dawson, Freshfields Senior Partner, commented: “Climate change is a significant risk to all, but also an impetus for our people, firm, clients and planet to evolve towards a better future. As a firm working with some of the world’s leading companies, Freshfields is keen to use its expertise and resources to enable the transition to a low-carbon future. We look forward to working with the G20 governments, businesses and civil society organisations to achieve this.”

The letter, signed by over six hundred of the world’s largest companies representing over $2.5tn in revenue and employing more than 8.5 million people worldwide, urges the world’s biggest economies to end coal power development, deliver on the existing commitment to US$100bn in climate finance annually for developing countries, to end fossil fuel subsidies by 2025 and to put a price on carbon. It has also called for the scaling up of the electrification of transport and renewable energy across sectors, including the removal of barriers to corporate purchasing of 100 per cent renewable electricity in order to enable companies to accelerate their clean energy transition.

The actions included in the letter will largely be government-led through regulatory and policy changes but will require collaboration between governments and all stakeholders including the business community, civil society and academia.

Freshfields’ partnership with the We Mean Business Coalition is an important part of its wider commitment to sustainability: supporting its clients in their transition to a low-carbon future; partnering with other sustainability leaders; and managing its own environmental footprint , which includes a target to source 100 per cent renewable electricity by 2030, reducing carbon from business travel by 30 per cent by 2025, reducing paper usage by 40 per cent by 2025 and phasing out all single-use plastics across all of the firm’s offices by the end of 2021.