CEOs managing $1.2trn demand climate action
Chief executives of 43 companies have published an open letter to world leaders, calling for an "ambitious climate deal" in Paris 2015.
The company leaders, including representatives from AkzoNobel, Ikea and BT, said the private sector was willing to play its part, but added that "clear policy signals from the world's leaders" were needed to transition to a low carbon economy.
"This initiative being launched today is a significant commitment in efforts to combat climate change," said Ignacio Galan, a signatory and chairman of utility giant Iberdola.
"As businesses, we have the obligation to contribute to sustainable development by fully integrating the environmental dimension in our strategy and management."
"Delaying action is not an option," said the letter. "It will be costly and will damage growth prospects in the years to come."
The letter is designed to put pressure on government officials ahead of a spring meeting of a World Bank group in Washington from April 17-19.
However, on a broader timescale, emissions fell by 9% since 2005, and earlier this year, the Obama administration announced plans to slash greenhouse gas emissions by 26% by 2025, compared to 2005 levels.
EU leaders have also pledged to slash emissions by 40% by 2030, while the UK has a legally binding target to reduce emissions by 80% by 2050.
Figures released by the International Energy Agency in March, revealed that 2014 could have been a turning point for climate change efforts, as global emissions stalled without a economic recession for the very first time.