LEAD on Climate 2020: Will Business Make a Difference?

As Congress considers various paths to recovery from the health and economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic, it should strive to build back better, by planning for a more resilient economy.

That’s the promise made by LEAD on Climate 2020 – the largest-ever call to action from the business community to members of the U.S. Congress will call for a build back better strategy that recognizes the need for a resilient, clean energy economy.

So what’s new?

The coronavirus pandemic highlights the necessity to act on scientific imperatives and ensure policies reduce the risk of future economic and health crises—whether from the next pandemic or from climate change. So, this year’s event is expanding its scope from carbon pricing to focus on the importance of pairing economic recovery with climate action.

LEAD on Carbon Pricing is now LEAD on Climate.

Lawmakers should protect against future shocks and systemic threats—including those associated with climate change.

Businesses will advocate for:

  • an accelerated transition to a net-zero emissions economy by 2050 or sooner
  • more investment in resilient infrastructure
  • effective climate solutions—including those that fully leverage the job opportunities of zero-carbon industries
  • support for longer-term, market-wide policy mechanisms such as a price on carbon 

LEAD on Climate 2020 happens to be the largest mobilization of American and multinational companies and investors to call on U.S. congressional lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to take climate action as part of the economic recovery process. Organized by the sustainability nonprofit organization Ceres and other partner organizations, the virtual event bring together CEOs and other representatives from more than 300 businesses including Capital One, DSM North America, Dow, Eileen Fisher, General Mills, Mars, Inc., Microsoft, NIKE, Salesforce and VISA will come together on Wednesday, May 13, for the largest business-led lawmaker education and advocacy day for climate action. The goal? Call on Congress to build back a more resilient, sustainable economy from COVID-19. 

Is it too little too late? And if we are to solve this wicked problem, we are going to have to tackle the root cause: why does Congress do nothing?

Participants would do well to pick up the forthcoming nonpartisan book by Katherine Gehl and Michael Porter: The Politics Industry: How Political Innovation Can Break Partisan Gridlock and Save Our Democracy

The truth is, according to Gehl and Porter, the American political system is working exactly how it is designed to work, and it isn’t designed or optimized today to work for us—for ordinary citizens.

Most people believe that our political system is a public institution with high-minded principles and impartial rules derived from the Constitution. In reality, it has become a private industry dominated by a textbook duopoly—the Democrats and the Republicans—and plagued and perverted by unhealthy competition between the players. Tragically, it has therefore become incapable of delivering solutions to America’s key economic and social challenges. In fact, there’s virtually no connection between our political leaders solving problems and getting reelected.

If you can’t wait for the book, read this report now – Why Competition in the Politics Industry is Failing America (pdf) – also from Gehl and Porter.

It’s time to stop the flywheel of corruption.

Wake up, everybody. The next systemic risk is Climate Collapse.