The Climate Group
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The Climate Group
The Climate Group
The Climate Group logo
Founded 2004
Type Environmental Charity
Focus Climate change
Area served
approx 80 business and government organisations
approx. 100 worldwide

The Climate Group is a non-profit organization that works internationally with business and government to promote clean technologies and policies, with the aim of expanding clean technology markets and reducing global greenhouse gas emissions. After launching with the support of Tony Blair in 2004, the organization now has offices in the UK (headquarters), the United States, India, mainland China and Hong Kong. As of December 2010, The Climate Group's membership included 80 large companies and state/city-level governments from around the world, with members representing 15% of global GDP.[1]

The Climate Group says it is one of the world's first business and government alliances working to create solutions to climate change that are compatible with economic growth.[2] It acts as the secretariat for the Under2 Coalition, an alliance of states and provinces around the world that are comitted to reducing their greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero levels by 2050. The Climate Group works directly with government signatories and partners to drive net-zero ambition and action.[3]

Solutions pursued by the organization include its technology programs, such as the LED 'Lightsavers' global trial taking place in cities such as New York City, Hong Kong and Kolkata;[4] the Climate Principles project, under which financial institutions (including Credit Agricole, HSBC, Standard Chartered, Swiss Re, F&C Asset Management and BNP Paribas) agree to consider climate change when structuring their service and product offerings;[5] the States and Regions Alliance, designed to encourage state, provincial and city government climate change initiatives;[6][7] and publications assessing and promoting the potential value of low carbon technologies and policies.[8]

The Climate Group also hosts a range of events such as Climate Week NYC in New York City, a week-long global forum examining clean technology policies and financing strategies.[9][10]

It has partnered a range of initiatives and reports with organisations including the Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSi), International Emissions Trading Association (IETA), the CDP, the Global Infrastructure Basel Foundation,[11] the New York Academy of Sciences, the United Nations Foundation, the German Marshall Fund, the Office of Tony Blair and the World Business Council on Sustainable Development (WBSCD).[12]


The Climate Group was created in 2004 by ex-CEO and founder Steve Howard[13] to engage major companies and sub-national governments and encourage them to take action on climate change. To join, a company or government must sign the organization's leadership principles. Former UK prime minister Tony Blair has supported the group since launch and has appeared at a number of the organization's events. Since 2004, the organization has grown and now has offices in London, New York, Brussels, Australia, Beijing, Hong Kong and Delhi.

The consumer engagement campaign Together, which lasted for approximately two years in the UK, was launched in the US in June 2008 in New York.[14] Around six months later, Together ceased to operate in the US.

The Climate Group has a strong international network of States and Regions. A number of prominent leaders of sub national governments have been or are involved in its policy work in developing renewable energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.[15] These include or have included Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond; Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones; Prince Albert of Monaco; former Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger; former Premier of Manitoba Gary Doer; former Premier of Quebec Jean Charest; former Premier of South Australia Mike Rann and President of Poitou Charentes, Segolene Royal. In successive years Schwarzenegger, Charest and Salmond each received The Climate Group's international climate leadership award from Co-Chair Mike Rann.[16] At the TCG's meeting in Copenhagen in December 2009, Premier Rann received unanimous support from sub-national leaders for his proposal for member regions to plant 1 billion trees. At TCG's meeting in Rio in June 2012 it was announced that member states and regions had passed the 550 million tree mark in commitments by governments.

In 2011, Mark Kenber, previously deputy-CEO, took over from Steve Howard as CEO.[17]

In 2016 Mark Kenber, CEO, resigned from post.


The Climate Group states that it functions independently of any corporate and government entities. It funds its work from a variety of revenue streams. The organization's 2007-2008 annual report[18] indicates that over 75% of its funding is from philanthropic donations, foundations and other non-governmental organizations, as well as from the philanthropic HSBC Climate Partnership.

Business and government members pay to be members of The Climate Group, and that funding accounts for approximately 20 per cent of the organization's operating budget. Many of its programmes are carried out in partnership with members, whose sponsorship is often the primary source of revenue for those individual programs (such as Together). The Climate Group states that overall strategy is driven by staff - sometimes in consultation with members - and approved by its board, and that there is no link between membership and governance of the organisation.

HSBC Climate Partnership

In 2007, HSBC announced that The Climate Group, along with WWF, Earthwatch, and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, would be a partner in the HSBC Climate Partnership, and donated US$100 million to fund joint work - the largest-ever single corporate philanthropic donation to the environment.[19] The results of this program can be seen in HSBC's 2010 Partnership Review,[20] and HSBC's Clean Cities film of December 2010. The Clean Cities film specifically outlines some of The Climate Group's achievements enabled by this program, including LED pilots in New York, clean technology finance in Mumbai, consumer campaigns in London and cutting employee carbon footprints in Hong Kong.


As of December 2010, The Climate Group coalition included 80 of the world's largest companies and governments (including, for example, the City of New York, Miami, Los Angeles, the State of California, most Canadian and Australian provinces and the City of London). It also works with a variety of associate members and partner organisations on initiatives such as The Climate Principles, The Aviation Global Deal Group and Breaking the Climate Deadlock.


The Climate Group also publishes research reports that seek to highlight the opportunities that low-emissions technology can provide in terms of both economic growth and decreased emissions. Some include:

  • Smart 2020: Enabling the low carbon economy in the information age - this 2008 report, produced in partnership with the Global e-Sustainability Initiative, presents research showing that smarter IT could reduce global emissions by 15 per cent and save EUR 500 billion in annual energy costs by 2020.[21]
  • The UK-India Business Leaders Climate Group - launched in February 2010 to provide advice to the UK and India on 'how to accelerate collaborative, climate-friendly economic growth'.[22]
  • CCS: Mobilising Private Sector Finance - launched in September 2010, this report produced with the Ecofin Research Foundation examines the risks and returns of carbon capture and sequestration projects from the perspective of European financial institutions.[23]
  • China's Clean Revolution series - to December 2010, three reports have been released on China's renewable energy policies. The latest report was released on December 6, 2010, to coincide with COP16 in Cancun,[24] is the China Clean Revolution Report III: Low Carbon Development in Cities.
  • COP 16: Post-Cancun Analysis briefing - released January 2011, this policy briefing paper provides The Climate Group's analysis of the 2010 UN Climate Conference in Cancun, with views on what it means for governments and businesses.[25]

Major initiatives

The Climate Group spearheads and supports a growing number of what it says are 'game-changing' initiatives. They include:

Technology programs

The Climate Group works with its government and business partners to demonstrate low emissions technologies with the goal of accelerating the 'scale up' of these technologies until they are widespread. Technology programs include:[26]

  • The LED program, which aims to accelerate widespread adoption of this lighting technology. The programs aim is for LED lighting to represent 25% of the global indoor and outdoor lighting market by 2020, reducing electricity use and costs -- and associated CO2 emissions -- by 50 - 70%. Demonstration projects are operating in many cities across the globe including Hong Kong, Shanghai, Kolkata, London, New York and Sydney.
  • The Carbon Capture and Storage program, which aims to develop carbon capture and storage demonstration plants in China, India, the US, Europe and Australia.
  • The SMART 2020 program, which aims to harness smart information and communication technologies, such as smart grid technologies and building management systems, to reduce emissions by up to 15% by 2020.
  • The EV20 program, which aims to build the momentum of the electric vehicles market through partnerships with car and battery manufacturers, electricity utilities, financial institutions and governments.

States and Regions

The Climate Group's States and Regions Alliance is underpinned by a recognition of the important role that sub-national governments are playing in tackling climate change on the ground. The UN Development Program estimates that 50-80% of actions required to take limit global temperature rises to two degrees will need to arise from sub-national levels of government.[27] The Climate Group argues that while global negotiations continue to prove difficult, its State and Regions Alliance members, as well as other subnational governments, will play an essential role in building a global climate change deal from the bottom-up.[28] Updates on developments in sub-national government climate policies and low emissions technology programs across the globe are maintained on The Climate Group's website.

Through its States and Regions program, The Climate Group brings heads of sub-national governments together in events such as Cancun's China Day and Climate Leaders Summit 2010.[29] Agreed statements arising from these events, signed by the organization's members, include the Copenhagen Statement of 2009 and the Cancun Statement of 2010.[30] The States and Regions program also facilitates partnerships between developed and developing nation sub-national governments, giving rise to projects such as assessment of regional vulnerability to climate change impacts.[31]

Special projects

The Climate Group also runs specific initiatives separate from its ongoing project streams. These projects include:

  • The Greenhouse Indicator, a weekly indicator of greenhouse gas emissions produced from the generation of energy in Australian states including New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania. Emissions are reported in newspaper publications including The Age.[32]
  • The Climate Principles, a framework for the finance sector that major international financial institutions such as Credit Agricole, HSBC, Standard Chartered, Swiss Re, F&C Asset Management and BNP Paribas have adopted. Signatories of the Principles are working to include climate change considerations in all their financial products and services.[33]
  • The HSBC Climate Partnership, which includes The Climate Group, Earthwatch Institute, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). The Partnership aims to reduce major city carbon emissions, monitor climate change impacts on forests and waterways, and empower individuals in their communities and workplaces to contribute to climate change action and research.[34]
  • Climate Week NYC, a partnership between The Climate Group, the United Nations, the UN Foundation, the City of New York, the Government of Denmark, Tck Tck Tck Campaign and CDP.

Previous projects include:


  1. ^ "Climate Group". Retrieved 2014. 
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ "Under2 Coalition". The Climate Group. Retrieved . 
  4. ^ "HKUST". Retrieved 2014. 
  5. ^ Archived from the original on February 7, 2011. Retrieved 2011.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  6. ^ [2] Archived December 15, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^
  8. ^ [3] Archived December 10, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  9. ^ Justin Lane. "In pictures: Climate Week in New York". Retrieved 2014. 
  10. ^ [4] Archived July 8, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  11. ^
  12. ^ [5] Archived January 10, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  13. ^ "U.N. Climate Panel Seeks Money to Help Developing Countries". Retrieved 2014. 
  14. ^ [6]
  15. ^ "The Climate Group". Retrieved 2014. 
  16. ^ "The Scottish Government - Home Page". Retrieved 2014. 
  17. ^ Archived from the original on June 3, 2011. Retrieved 2011.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  18. ^ 2007-2008 Annual Report
  19. ^ "HSBC Announces US$100 Million Program to Combat Climate Change World-Wide - Press Releases on". Retrieved 2014. 
  21. ^ "Feature - The Network". Cisco's The Network. 16 June 2010. 
  22. ^ Archived from the original on March 5, 2011. Retrieved 2011.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  23. ^ "CCS: Mobilising Private Sector Finance". Retrieved 2014. 
  24. ^ "China committed to low-carbon economy". Retrieved 2014. 
  25. ^ Archived from the original on July 28, 2011. Retrieved 2011.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  26. ^ Archived from the original on February 7, 2011. Retrieved 2011.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  27. ^ "UNDP Office in Geneva". Archived from the original on 28 June 2011. Retrieved 2014. 
  28. ^
  29. ^ Suzanne Goldenberg. "China on path to redemption in Cancún". the Guardian. 
  30. ^ "States and cities sign up to new Cancun climate commitment". Retrieved 2014. 
  31. ^ Archived from the original on December 31, 2010. Retrieved 2011.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  32. ^ "Greenhouse emissions soar". Retrieved 2014. 
  33. ^ Archived from the original on February 7, 2011. Retrieved 2011.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  34. ^ Archived from the original on April 24, 2011. Retrieved 2011.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  35. ^ "How to Save A Million Tonnes of CO2". YouTube. Retrieved 2014. 

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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