Bosses from 78 multinational companies have called on world leaders to sign an “ambitious” deal at the United Nations’ climate change talks (COP21), which are getting underway in Paris.

The chief executives – whose companies turn over a combined $2.1 trillion (£1.4tn) – warned that “Delaying action is not an option”.

In an open letter to world leaders, they called for “explicit or implicit” carbon pricing, which they believe will “trigger low-carbon investment”.

They also urged innovation in alternative and renewable energy sources, energy efficiency and an end to deforestation.

UN welcomes letter

Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, welcomed the letter.
She said: “This is the first intentionally directed industrial revolution and will be the source of good new jobs and strong growth for the coming decades, something developing countries are increasingly realizing and taking the lead on.”

Business leaders who have signed the letter include the chief executives of BT, Ikea and Marks & Spencer.

> See the statement