Club de Madrid addresses climate change challenge in its Leadership for Net Zero report

Club de Madrid calls for collaborative efforts to fight climate change in its new report ‘Leadership for Net Zero’, which has been presented by its Member Carlos Alvarado before high authorities in Spain: King Felipe VI, President of the Government Pedro Sánchez, Vice President and Minister for Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge Teresa Ribera and Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation José Manuel Albares.

Download the report here


Why was this report necessary?

The science is clear: to avoid the worst consequences of climate change and ensure a sustainable future for all, we must limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. This means reducing carbon emissions by 45% by 2030 and achieving net zero by 2050. Currently, we are still far from achievingthese targets set by the Paris Agreement.

A failure to act will entail a perilous future for everyone, but a climate-ravaged future would be particularly harsh for those already burdened by poverty, discrimination or oppression, including children, women or indigenous communities. Taking weak or no climate action will drive millions of people back into poverty and exacerbate already worsening inequalities.

Climate change therefore cannot be considered as a standalone issue. It is a driver and catalyst for almost all other social, political and economic issues, including food security, water and energy access, jobs, health and education, resource conflict, migration, technology, international relations, and so on.

Therefore, prioritizing climate action alongside economic development and poverty reduction is imperative for a sustainable and equitable future.


What is Leadership for Net Zero?

Recognizing the urgency of the situation, the Leadership for Net Zero Initiative is an international platform for fostering reflection and mobilizing multidisciplinary expertise in implementing practical strategies towards achieving net zero. It brings together political, business, and civil society leaders to address the intertwined challenges of climate change, environmental degradation, and inequality.

The Initiative convened three Working Groups led by distinguished figures from political, business, and civil society sectors, including Prime Minister Han Seung-Soo of South Korea, President Jorge Quiroga of Bolivia, President Felipe Calderón of Mexico, and President Carlos Alvarado of Costa Rica. Leveraging virtual consultations, analytical assessments and technical documents prepared by the Working Groups’ leaders, the initial conclusions were presented at an event at COP28 to get broader feedback, engagement and endorsement.

The Initiative is now launching its final report, comprising a summary of the recommendations outlined by the three Working Groups (see Annexes), together with conclusions and next steps. The report was launched at an event hosted by the Spanish Ministry for Ecological Transition on April 2nd, 2024, with President Alvarado’s participation.


The report’s key recommendations

Against the backdrop of escalating global crises, and drawing upon collective insights, analysis, and documents prepared by three WGs, the report provides a set of recommendations for current leaders across government, civil society, and business spheres. It builds on the indispensable role of democratic leadership in securing and maintaining citizens’ backing for the transformative actions needed to achieve net zero.

Key recommendations include:

  • Political Leadership: a concerted global effort must mobilize finance, prioritize equity, and enhance urban resilience. The report emphasizes the need to share responsibility and empower citizens, revise economic metrics for sustainability, promote positive narratives for climate action, and implement carbon pricing initiatives.
  • Business Leadership: Business leaders are urged to decarbonize supply chains, including enhancing measurement and reporting, setting science-based targets, and integrating climate criteria into procurement and supplier contracts. The report also emphasizes the importance of supporting Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), ensuring just transition strategies, and advocating for policy support.
  • Citizen Leadership: Recommendations focus on climate finance for vulnerable communities, global governance for climate finance justice, and empowering citizens to participate in decision-making processes, demand action from governments and companies, and rethink economic and social models to create a sustainable future.


And what’s next? Conclusions and next steps

Club de Madrid calls for collaborative efforts between governments, businesses, and civil society to prioritize citizen engagement, equitable distribution of resources, and integration of climate action with broader socio-economic development goals. Leaders across all sectors must observe these recommendations and take decisive action towards net zero, increasing resilience and adaptation, ensuring a just and equitable transformation that leaves no one behind while safeguarding the planet for future generations.

The report underscores the importance of citizen engagement, equitable distribution of resources, and collaborative efforts between governments, businesses, and civil society in achieving net zero emissions. It calls for the establishment of a robust, green, and transparent global economic and finance architecture, coupled with the re-formulation of social contracts, to achieve net zero while fostering a resilient, fair, and inclusive economy.

In response to these challenges, Club de Madrid will continue to promote these recommendations, advocate for climate neutrality and mobilize stakeholders through high-level advocacy or public information campaigns.


“In the journey towards net zero, decarbonising global supply chains stands as a formidable challenge. While some may opt for the easy route of offsetting, true progress demands more. This briefing offers not avoidance, but actionable steps for companies to empower their suppliers in the pursuit of decarbonisation. I commend the leadership demonstrated by Club of Madrid in establishing this workstream and, Climate Strategy for the delivery of an exceptional report. I extend my heartfelt gratitude to the participating companies for their openness and, above all, for their groundbreaking efforts in this crucial work. I sincerely hope that many more companies will join this statement in the pursuit of our shared goals” Helena Viñes-Fiestas, co-chair of the Net Zero Policy Task Force and former member of the UN Secretary- General High Level Expert Group o the Net Zero Emissions Commitments of Non-States Entities.