The B Team call for a new era of action and accountability

The B Team_CVF_COP26
The B Team at COP26 in Glasgow
Clare Kelly
by Clare Kelly
12 November 2021
The B Team, co-founded by Richard Branson and Jochen Zeitz in 2013, is a global collective of business and civil society leaders working to create new norms of corporate leadership today, for a better tomorrow.

At COP26, The B Team and the We Mean Business Coalition were honoured to stand with the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF), calling for greater global partnership in the face of the climate crisis and its disproportionate impacts on the most vulnerable people and countries.

The CVF comprises 55 countries, with a combined GDP of USD$2.3 trillion and 1.2 billion people. They represent one-sixth of the world’s population yet are only responsible for 5% of global emissions. Investment in these countries’ climate prosperity has the potential to catalyse an increase of trillions of dollars in combined GDP, benefitting citizens, business, and the global economy alike.


“As business leaders, we know that upfront investment is often needed to deliver long-term returns. This is certainly true when it comes to climate investment,” said B Team leader and Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff at COP26. “If we are serious about using public finance to catalyse trillions of dollars in private investment that we all know are needed to meet the climate challenge, then we must find ways to unleash these trillions through smart finance, and not put walls of debt obligations in the way."

The newly signed CVF declaration sets out the ambitions of climate vulnerable countries to not just adapt and survive, but prosper and thrive in a low-carbon economy. Success will come from the willingness of wealthy nations to deliver USD$100 billion of support through grants and not loans, which worsen, rather than alleviate, debt burdens. Each dollar of debt is another dollar away from a sustainable, prosperous future.

Just as The B Team leaders came together and rallied for hope at COP21 in Paris – they now call for action and accountability following on from the progress being made in Glasgow. These COP26 commitments give hope, but much more action is needed to deliver on the promise of Paris and keep the vision of 1.5 degrees alive.

The Elders
The Elders

“There is no future beyond planetary boundaries. There is no trust without true accountability,” said Halla Tomasdottir, CEO of The B Team.

The B Team – including Richard Branson and Virgin Unite Founder and CEO, Jean Oelwang – urges business and governments to take ownership of this collectively created crisis and step up in more and meaningful ways.

Virgin Unite is proud to have worked alongside so many world leaders and wonderful partners to incubate courageous and influential collaborations, each focused on ensuring a prosperous future for the planet. Beyond The B Team, these include The Elders, Ocean Unite, Carbon War Room (now merged with RMI), and the Caribbean Climate-Smart Accelerator - all of which are present at this year's COP, working together to help ensure bold action is taken.

This moment demands leadership that is inclusive, transparent, urgent, and boldly collaborative. Please join The B Team in their commitment to keeping the 1.5°C target alive and delivering a just transition.

According to The B Team: “If we are to safeguard the future for generations to come, the way forward must include a bold reset of policy, business and investor incentives. Let’s get to work, together, before time runs out.”