Live from COP21: Business Leaders Advocate for Climate Change Agreement

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JLL’s Dan Probst and Sarah Nicholls joined world leaders and experts from the private and public sectors at the United Nations climate conference – known as COP21 – this past week in Paris. To learn more about their experience at COP21, please click here

A wind turbine tree sculpture stands outside the United Nations COP21 conference.

A wind turbine tree stands outside the United Nations COP21 conference.

Wow. It was an incredible few days in Paris, where the atmosphere was clearly one of optimism. All indications continue to point toward reaching a formal global agreement with one of the key drivers being the level of business support for the agreement.

It was incredible to see the large number of CEOs of Fortune 500 firms voicing their encouragement and support for an agreement that, in their estimation, will serve as a catalyst for unlocking billions of dollars of investment in a clean-energy economy. While there continue to be opponents who predict that achieving the agreed upon targets for carbon emission reductions will have a negative impact on the global economy, it is clear that they are in the minority and are contradicting what business leaders across a broad spectrum of industries are saying about the economic impact. Many are comparing COP21 to other major events in history that transformed our industries and societies, such as the industrial revolution.

For me, it was an incredible experience to be associated with a potentially historic moment that will have so many positive benefits on the health of our planet, the health of our children and the health of our economy. Through our corporate membership in associations that are working closely with our government representatives and the U.N. negotiating team, I receive multiple updates each day regarding the progress of the talks and, as of this morning, those on the inside continue to be very optimistic. There are still many details to work out in the next 48 hours, but it is clear that many believe there is a path to an agreement.

So, stay tuned for more from me and my team over the coming weeks as we prepare some guidance regarding the potential impacts and outcomes of a COP 21 agreement on business overall and on future real estate decisions. I also want to thank all of our readers for their support of our engagement at COP21. It is clear that our JLL employees and clients are supportive of the commitment that our firm made to participate in these events.


Dan Probst - Jones Lang LaSalleDan Probst is Global Chairman of Energy and Sustainability Services at JLL. In this role, Dan is responsible for developing and delivering products and services that help clients reduce energy costs and their real estate related environmental footprint through innovative portfolio and occupancy strategies, workplace standards, and operating practices. Dan is also a founding and current member of JLL’s Global Environmental Sustainability Board. For Dan’s full bio, please click here.

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