Climate Leadership Coalition is one of the most influential climate-business networks in Europe. Today, we celebrate the 10 impactful years of Climate Leadership Coalition and we hope you will join in to celebrate the remarkable first decade of CLC! 

The fundamental insight that led to the foundation of CLC was that viable business, or human life as we know it, will be impossible if actions to mitigate climate change are not speedily increased.  We need to act now and to gain enough momentum and scale, businesses have to be involved. In the words of the founder and former CEO of CLC, Jouni Keronen: up to 75% of the investment must come from the private sector and therefore the actions need to be profitable and generate more business opportunities. CLC aspires to channel innovation from the business community and advise, as well as challenge decisionmakers on how to increase competitiveness of clean industries systemically, across different sectors and thus, attract investments from the private sector.  

The underlying thought of CLC’s vision, that climate change mitigation and climate change prevention is a business opportunity, has shifted the climate change discussion from the risk analysis matrix to low-carbon business planning, rewarding early movers and pioneers. CLC work started from carbon pricing and marketbased mechanisms, turning clean, low-carbon business financially viable and lowering the business prospects for climate offenders. Only 3 weeks into operation, CLC CEO at the time, Jouni Keronen got the invitation to participate in the New York Climate Week, together with heads of states. 

In 2015, CLC’s representatives were amongst those who negotiated carbon pricing into the Paris Agreement by creating a connection between Brazil and the EU. This proved that even a small actor can match the interests of negotiating countries and have an impact of scale. Since then, CLC has been present at the COP-meetings, facilitating high-level dialogues, events and climate ambition, and in COP28, CLC was part of the team that built the first-ever Finland Pavilion to the climate negotiations. 

CLC was a pioneer in supporting EU’s carbon neutrality by 2050. CLC initiated a Nordic Call with the Haga Initiative from Sweden and Skift Climate Leaders from Norway. The campaign called on the EU and its Member States to make the European Union Paris Agreement-proof, by setting and agreeing on new, sufficiently ambitious climate targets, and in doing so, getting strong support from the private sector. Consequently, the Commission proposed climate neutrality as a long-term target within the Green Deal. 

With an investor perspective and predictability in mind, CLC embarked on making carbon budgeting a part of the Green Deal’s Climate Law. The European Parliament proposed the carbon budget to be incorporated into the EU Climate Law and after negotiations carbon budgeting was accepted by the EU Council in 2021.    

One of the biggest initiatives CLC has been building is the Call on Carbon, which was started together with Nordic partners Haga Initiative and Skift Climate Business leaders in 2021. The initiative calls on governments to back up their net zero targets with effective and fit-for-purpose carbon pricing instruments, to align the different market mechanisms internationally and to finalize the rulebook of the Paris Agreement’s Article 6 on voluntary carbon markets. Call on Carbon grew 10 times larger than any other business initiative presented to the heads of states in Glasgow climate negotiations and it keeps on growing. Underneath the initiative, CLC has brought together policy makers and leaders of the international economic organizations in COP27 and COP28 to further the use of carbon pricing mechanisms in the world. 

CLC is the sum of its people and members. Many individuals such as Antti Herlin, Henrik Ehrnrooth and Mika Anttonen, have been passionate and important supporters of CLC’s work over the years. CLCs work has  also brought together specialists from across different sectors to network and discuss timely matters and build on an understanding of the needed actions to be made to mitigate climate change.  

CLC is held in high regard globally, having participated in His Holiness the Pope Francis’ Laudato-si’-reader as the only climate organisation and having been honoured by the presence of the US Secretary of State John Kerry at CLC’s climate master course of 2023. CLC has also brought world-class scientists such as Johan Rockström, Anna-Liisa Laine, and Ottmar Edenhofer to meet the policymakers and businesses to ensure that the dialogues are always based on the most recent research findings. 

Over the past two years, CLC has continued to actively work on promoting carbon handprint thinking and discussing  land use and nature-based carbon sinks. The EU advocacy efforts have focused on the 2040 climate target and its policy architecture. As a new strategic area CLC has started to work with biodiversity enhancement. CLC will continue to strengthen its presence and network in the Nordics. 

Despite having a presence at global meetings, in Nordic policy and projects as well as Finnish policy throughout the years, the main focus of CLC is to impact EU policy and direction, as first outlined in the strategy of 2018. We will continue our advocacy work as the new Commission’s work program and the subsequent climate and energy policy initiatives will be published.  

 

CLC – a success story of a decade

CLC has been an amazing success story so far. Nordic large corporations, cities, universities, and research organizations have together created a globally unique voice for forerunner businesses. CLC is now a voice sought after by the highest UN and EU policymakers, from Ursula von der Leyen to António Guterres. 

Scalable climate and nature solutions, market-based mechanisms, and the positive impact of Nordic businesses are our widely respected global agenda. 

And it’s not only words. Our impact is seen every day. The interaction between representatives of large corporations and political decision-makers on climate and nature topics has changed the conditions for businesses in the Nordics, making them favourable for those who adopt the most future-proof solutions. Carbon pricing has impacted certain industries, and similar measures are needed to solve the climate and nature crises.  

In the future, the world will direly need the emissions reduction technology offered by CLC members. The estimated amount of climate investments per year amounts to 4 trillion euros in the coming years. Nature restoration will require similar investments. Therein lies limitless business opportunities for Nordic frontrunner companies. 

The impactful achievements of CLC during the past 10 years are unbeatable. But our beautiful globe needs us to work even harder for the next 10 years. 

An economy that works within planetary boundaries, creating prosperity and success for all, is built through everyday actions, impactful investments, and the collaboration this community fosters. Thank you for the past 10 years, and we look forward to our impact in the coming decades. 

Cheers to the next 10 years! 

Tuuli Kaskinen, CLC CEO

 

CLC highlights 2014 – 2022 

CLC was founded by seven founding members – Fortum, KONE, Neste, St1, Outotec, Caverion, and Sitra, the Finnish Innovation Fund – in June 2014. Activities started on 1st September, 2014. By the end of 2021 CLC had grown to be the largest non-profit climate business network in Europe by its 91 organizational and 54 personal members. 

During the first eight years CLC influenced climate policies internationally and within EU, Nordics and Finland.  

Internationally, our widest action was to propose a concept and strategy on how carbon price could be incorporated as part of the in the Paris Agreement. We were pleased when EU and Brazil agreed a ground-breaking proposal addressing market mechanisms and the role of carbon price in the agreement. We got feedback from several key decision-makers, and they said that our proposal had a positive impact on the outcome. 

In 2020 CLC proposed a worldwide coalition for carbon pricing and launched Call on Carbon initiative to ramp up climate investments and effective carbon pricing. The call has over 150 signatories representing over 45 million companies in more than 130 countries, that had a market cap close to USD 25 trillion and over USD 120 trillion assets under management in 2021. 

Within the EU, CLC was in the frontline in supporting carbon neutrality by 2050. CLC initiated a Nordic Call with the Haga Initiative from Sweden and Skift Climate Leaders from Norway, a campaign calling EU and its Member States to make the European Union Paris Agreement-proof, by setting and agreeing on new, sufficiently ambitious climate targets. To have a better quantified goal, we proposed that the EU should define a “carbon budget”, that ended later into EU Climate Law. In addition, we promoted the widened use of carbon price and Emission Trading System. 

For the Finnish government and Nordic Council as well as interested businesses, we supported the development of a concept called a “carbon handprint” – a positive climate impact indicator. We were pleased to see the use of it expanding and that it is included in the current government program of Finland. 

In addition to these, we made a proposal to PM Petteri Orpo that led to The Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action. 

And to conclude my part, I must mention one action that pleased me maybe the most. 

In 2021, CLC was invited to write a chapter – as an only business organisation – to His Holiness Pope Francis’s book Laudato si’ Reader – An Alliance of Care for Our Common Home, presenting reflections and reactions of how the Holy Father’s ideas have been disseminated, advocated and practiced in various settings around the world. That illustrated how respected player CLC has become internationally. 

Jouni Keronen, Co-chair CLC Advisory Board, Founder and former CEO