Global green business group confirms interim CEO has taken on the role on a permanent basis
Maria Mendiluce has been confirmed as the new CEO of the We Mean Business coalition of climate-focused business groups, just months after taking the role on an interim basis.
The group, which represents a host of leading Blue Chips from around the world, confirmed yesterday that Mendiluce will succeed former CEO Nigel Topping on a permanent basis, after he moved to take up a role in the UK government's COP26 team at the start of the year.
Mendiluce joined the We Mean Business coalition from her role as managing director for circular economy, cities and mobility, and climate and energy at the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD).
She will now be tasked with adapting the coalition's strategy in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis and will play a key role in calling on governments to deliver zero-carbon economic stimulus packages in the run up to the COP26 Summit next year.
"The emergence of the pandemic does not reduce the human and economic risks of the ongoing climate crisis, which is a present threat to human lives, health and the economy," she said. "Spending and policy decisions made now must address both issues, ensuring we build back better. We need plans that create decent jobs, reduce emissions and increase resilience in the future.
"As CEO at the We Mean Business coalition, together with our partners and the businesses we work with, I want to help drive forward a zero-carbon recovery that is good for people, economies and both human and planetary health. Governments need to take confidence from the growing call from businesses for policies that will boost the economy and get us on track to halve global greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. By doing so they will enable companies to invest now and innovate at the scale and pace that is necessary to build back better and create the future we all want."
The appointment was welcomed by Steve Howard, co-chair of the We Mean Business coalition board. "The current pandemic is a powerful reminder of our fragile society," he said. "We know that without a step change in action, climate change will impact us like a pandemic that doesn't end. The role of business is now greater than ever and Maria is a perfect fit to lead the coalition as it urges governments to build back better towards a zero-carbon future."
The fast-expanding 'build back better' campaign has enjoyed a series of early victories in recent weeks, as governments across Europe have underscored their commitment to driving climate action as part of their evolving economic recovery plans. However, green businesses are also fearful that the economic crisis could hamper decarbonisation efforts and trigger a new wave of high carbon infrastructure investment, especially in the US and China.
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