Category Archives: United Nations Climate Summit

The Paris Agreement is a good framework to tackle climate change. But let’s not settle.

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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 – in Paris in December, and blogged about their experiences here. Below, Sarah Nicholls discusses the COP21 outcome – known as the Paris Agreement – and what it means for the world and for business.  

At the COP21 conference last month, 195 countries agreed to limit greenhouse gas emissions in an effort to curb global warming. This outcome – referred to as the Paris Agreement – stipulates an overarching objective to limit global temperatures from rising above 2 degrees Celsius relative to pre-industrial levels. To deliver on this aim, UN members submitted carbon reduction plans, known as Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs), ahead of COP21. The delivery of the INDCs is the responsibility of each member.

We can acknowledge that COP21 led to a huge, unprecedented milestone: a global climate change agreement on this scale has never been achieved before. So we’re on the right path.… Read More

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.… Read More

Live from COP21: Ask More of Business for a Sustainable Future

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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

Stuart Thomson Gulliver, CEO HSBC, at the UN Caring for Climate event

It’s post-COP21 for JLL and I am exhausted. It’s the good kind, though. It’s the “there were so many inspiring ideas and stimulating conversations” kind of exhaustion. It’s the “I want to start making things happen yesterday” kind of exhaustion. And even better is that my exhaustion comes from momentum. From positivity. From leaders – big leaders (such as HSBC CEO Stuart Thomson Gulliver, shown at right) – who get it.

The ‘it’ here is climate change, and as Dan summarized yesterday, these big leaders speak about climate change in terms of business value, economic opportunity and innovation. They also speak about it as a way to stay competitive. And heck, as a way to exist in the long term as a business.… Read More

Live from COP21: The Power of People and Supply Chain

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JLL’s Dan Probst and Sarah Nicholls are joining world leaders and experts from the private and public sectors at the United Nations climate conference – known as COP21 – in Paris. Check back daily for Dan and Sarah’s live updates throughout the conference.

IMG_3540I woke up today even more excited for Day 2. If you haven’t read Dan’s Day 1 recap yet, I encourage you to catch up with us. COP21 is filled with lots of energy and fun, too – it’s great to see us business folk, all suited up, pedal a bike to make our own smoothies or charge our iPhones.

Dan and I started our day at the Sustainable Innovation Forum (SIF). By lunchtime we’d taken in so much great information to share. We had an interesting morning session with the businessmen and aviators of Solar Impulse. With pilot jackets in tow, they explained how they were repeatedly told that a solar-powered flight around the world was impossible. Solar Impulse prevailed by going about the solution in a different way. Sounds familiar, right? Most want change, but don’t want to change.… Read More

Live from COP21: Optimism and Innovation Drive Climate Change Conference

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JLL’s Dan Probst and Sarah Nicholls are joining world leaders and experts from the private and public sectors at the United Nations climate conference – known as COP21 – in Paris. Check back daily for Dan and Sarah’s live updates throughout the conference.

SN DP COP21

JLL’s Dan Probst and Sarah Nicholls attend the COP21 conference in Paris.

Our first full day in Paris for COP21 has been a beautiful one. The morning was a bit hectic as we navigated the logistics of getting to the site and through security. But even that couldn’t dampen the clear mood of optimism in the air knowing that a draft agreement has been reached. Now, the focus has shifted to gaining agreement from developing countries to help finance the initiatives necessary to affect change.

Sarah and I are attending various business events surrounding the official UN climate talks. We began by touring The Gallery, a showcase for new technology and products to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the real estate, industrial and transportation sectors. One interesting product we saw was a packaged unit that maintains a continuous supply of electricity from intermittent renewable sources (such as wind and solar) though a combination of batteries and a hydrogen fuel cell. Apparently, this award-winning product caught the attention of Sir Richard Branson yesterday. Overall, the displays reinforced my belief that new technology will be a big part of the solution.… Read More