Hundreds of people with placards take part in demonstration calling for climate change justice for Africa in Nairobi, 14 November . Photograph: Simon Maina/AFP/Getty Images
Linguist Noam Chomsky and historian Naomi Oreskes among signatories of open letter urging leaders to limit warming to 1.5C, rather than current 2C target, at Paris climate talks
Monday 23 November 2015 08.29 EST Last modified on Monday 23 November 2015 08.37 EST
More than 2,000 academics from over 80 countries – including linguist Noam Chomsky, climate scientist Michael E Mann, philosopher Peter Singer, and historian Naomi Oreskes – have called on world leaders to do more to limit global warming to a 1.5C rise.
In an open letter, they write that leaders meeting in Paris at a crunch UN climate summit next week should “be mustering planet-wide mobilisation, at all societal levels” and call for citizens around the world to hold their leaders to account on the issue.
The world has already warmed by 1C above pre-industrial levels. Holding warming to 1.5C would be a far greater challenge than the 2C that leaders at previous climate talks have agreed to limit rises to. Current emissions pledges tabled ahead of the Paris summit would see warming of around 2.7-3C.
They say that such a rise is: “profoundly shocking, given that any sacrifice involved in making those reductions is far overshadowed by the catastrophes we are likely to face if we do not.”
Separately, the CEOs from 78 companies collectively worth over $2tn – among them Nestlé, Accenture, HSBC, Lloyd’s, Microsoft, BT Group, PepsiCo, Siemens, SOHO China, UniLever, PwC, Marks & Spencer and the Mahindra Group – have pledged their support to governments to implement ambitious targets.
The companies, which operate in more than 150 countries, call for support for alternative energy sources, a carbon price to bolster investment, “consistent policies and robust monitoring” and for greater disclosure on investments related to fossil fuels and alternative energies.
In a letter co-ordinated by the World Bank, the corporations recognise the internationally agreed target to limit global warming to 2C.