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Aruba, May 19, 2015 - The head of Unilever has called on world leaders to raise their game in the battle against climate change.
Chief executive Paul Polman said governments must set clear CO2 targets to force low-carbon innovation.
Speaking ahead of a business climate summit in Paris this week, he urged fellow chief executives to help create a “political licence” for politicians to promote clean energy.
But firms dependent on cheap fossil fuel energy are unlikely to agree.
“It’s clear that, increasingly, the business community is aware of the costs of climate change. Momentum is swinging towards people realising that we need to take urgent action to stay below two degrees [increase in global average temperature],” Mr Polman told BBC News.
Economic threat?
He said there had been a "long dance" between politicians and chief executives over who should take the lead on cutting emissions.
“There was a belief among some politicians that the main challenge is job creation and economic growth, and if we get side-tracked with climate we might not achieve the economic growth.
"The reality is, if we don’t tackle climate change we won’t achieve economic growth.”