High-level representatives from national governments, civil society and the international business community – including LeasePlan – have been meeting at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP23), in Bonn, Germany, to discuss what’s next in tackling climate change and how to implement the Paris Agreement.

The 23rd edition of the conference was hosted by the secretariat of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and presided over by Fiji. For the first time, a key focus of the conference was the role the business community has to play in achieving the UN’s goal of lowering carbon emissions and limiting global temperature rises to well below 2°C and as close as possible to 1.5°C. Attendees included President Macron of France, Chancellor Merkel of Germany and former Vice President of the United States Al Gore.

As a responsible company and founding member of the EV100 initiative, LeasePlan was an active participant of COP23. During the conference, Erik Henstra, Managing Director LeasePlan Netherlands, took part in a panel on the transition to clean and electric transportation, which was opened by Maroš Šefčovič, EU Commission Vice-President for Energy Union. Mike Lightfoot, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, also participated in a panel on shifting energy systems and the role ambitious cross-sector coalitions play in creating demand signals that shift markets, influence the wider policy landscape and accelerate the shift to net zero emissions.

Commenting on our participation in the UN Climate Change Conference, Mike Lightfoot said: "LeasePlan has the ambitious goal of achieving net zero emissions from its total fleet by 2030. We can't do that alone: we have to work with a variety of stakeholders, including regulators, energy companies and our customers. Many of our key stakeholders are here at the UN meeting so this is a great forum to get our message out there and develop the partnerships we need to eliminate emissions from the automotive sector."

In addition, at the conference, LeasePlan launched its electric vehicle pilot program for corporates, which is designed to make it as easy as possible for the growing number of companies that want to make the switch to low-emission vehicles. The full pilot will be available in Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal and the UK from December, with a further rollout planned for Italy, Spain and Sweden in the first quarter of 2018.

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