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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Executives representing 78 companies worth north of $2 trillion are pressing leaders of the Group of 7 major economies to work with the private sector on bold actions to address climate change.

Driving the news: They issued an open letter to G7 leaders just ahead of their meeting in the U.K. that begins this week, and they published it as a full-page ad in today's Financial Times.

Why it matters: The corporate effort provides private sector cover that may make it easier for world leaders to take potentially costly steps to reduce emissions.

It's organized via the Alliance for CEO Climate Leaders, a program hosted by the World Economic Forum.

State of play: The letter is signed by the CEOs of Allianz, Biogen, Boston Consulting Group, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, ING, Salesforce, PepsiCo and Unilever, among many others.

The big picture: The CEOs call for G7 leaders to commit to halving greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and getting to net zero by 2050.

  • They call on countries to ensure that developed nations "meet and exceed" their $100 billion commitment to helping developing nations cut their emissions and adapt to global warming.
  • The letter warns of massive economic losses to come from failing to address climate change, versus gains from transitioning to a more sustainable economy.

What we're watching: Other private-sector efforts to press G7 leaders at the summit and ahead of the big United Nations climate conference.

"Investors managing more than $41 trillion in assets are loudly calling on world leaders to immediately step up their climate game if they don't want to miss out on a wave of clean energy investment," CNN reports.

Go deeper

Study: Greenhouse gases from food systems vastly underestimated

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Emissions of planet-warming greenhouse gases from activities connected to growing and consuming food have been significantly underestimated, and may be twice as large as previously thought, new research finds.

Why it matters: Agriculture is already known to be one of the largest contributors to human-caused global warming. If the sector's emissions are larger than thought, it could mean the world will see more warming than anticipated.

Climate advocates are set up for an anxious summer

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Infrastructure talks between the White House and Congress have entered a phase that's making climate advocates extremely nervous.

Why it matters: Environmental groups and even some Democratic lawmakers are increasingly vocal with their fears that the White House will jettison central components of President Biden's climate plan during the talks, which could cause the U.S. to fall short of its new emissions targets.

Dem Rep. DeFazio: GOP refusal to address climate change is a "major stumbling block"

Axios' Hans Nichols and Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.). Photo: Axios

Republican refusal to address climate change is "the major stumbling block" to bipartisan consensus on a proposed bill core to Biden's infrastructure package, Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) said at an Axios virtual event on Wednesday.

Why it matters: DeFazio, who chairs the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, described his bill as "probably the single largest portion of the American Jobs Plan. He said that although Republicans and Democrats on the House transportation committee "can work together on a lot of things," GOP members "just will not address climate change."