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Multinational Enterprises and Climate Change: Fundamental Risks and Big Opportunities

May 23, 2023

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Multinational enterprises (MNEs) provide both a fundamental risk to and an opportunity for climate change mitigation. The climate ambitions of MNEs will affect the environmental performance of countries around the world. As a leading actor, proactive MNEs can impose sustainability standards or encourage green technology transfers that, in some cases, could affect millions of producers and accelerate the climate transition. However, obstructive MNEs may equally hold back any progress to reduce a country’s emissions via inaction or by actively resisting, obstructing, or lobbying against change. It is critical for policymakers around the world to consider the role that MNEs play in climate change mitigation strategies, monitor their current commitment to transition their supply chains to net-zero emissions by 2050, and adopt the necessary measures to accelerate this transition. To guide this endeavor, the World Bank, in partnership with CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project) have developed a new report that provides insights into MNEs’ impact on climate change.

This event aims to present the findings of a new report: “The effect of multinational enterprises on climate change: supply chain emissions, green technology transfers, and corporate commitments.” This report brings together the latest available data, analysis and literature to answer four key questions related to the relationship between MNEs and climate change:

(1)    What effect do MNEs currently have on climate change, through their own activities and through their broader supply chains?

(2)    How do MNEs shape the potential transfer of “green” technology transfers to domestic firms?

(3)    How committed are leading MNEs currently to transition their supply chains to net-zero emissions by 2050?

(4)    What types of policies can influence multinational enterprises’ effect on climate change?

The event will further discuss what more countries can and should do to shape the behaviors of MNEs as part of their climate change mitigation plans. For this, there will be an active discussion that will include a representative of a multinational enterprise with an active commitment towards sustainable development, and Amir Sokolowski, the Global Director Climate Change, at CDP (formerly Carbon Disclosure Project), which is a not-for-profit charity that runs the global disclosure system for investors, companies, cities, states and regions to manage their environmental impacts.



The Effect of Multinational Enterprises on Climate Change: Supply Chain Emissions, Green Technology Transfers, and Corporate Commitments