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Business leadership for a climate neutral economy

To send a clear signal to policymakers and other businesses at a critical policy moment that it is essential to support the achievement of an EU target of at least 55 per cent by 2030, as well as to ensure that efforts to achieve recovery help deliver the necessary investments to deliver the green transition, CEOs from leading businesses, investors and business and investor networks from across Europe have published an open letter, coordinated by CLG Europe, calling for the EU to ramp up climate ambition.


In October 2014, the European Council adopted the 2030 climate and energy framework which includes EU-wide targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and increasing the share of renewable energy and energy efficiency for the period from 2021 to 2030. This included a target for at least 40 per cent cuts in greenhouse gas emissions (from 1990 levels) by 2030, which was also translated into the first EU’s first nationally determined contribution (NDC) under the Paris Agreement.

Much has changed since these first 2030 targets were first agreed. In response to evolving climate science, the EU adopted a long-term strategy to be climate neutral by 2050.

Now, to deliver the necessary ambition for the EU to become climate-neutral by 2050 and help to pace and focus transition efforts from now until 2050, the Commission intends to increase the EU’s 2030 target for greenhouse gas emission reductions. The proposed Commission EU 2030 target will form the basis of the updated NDC the EU is expected to submit to the UNFCCC by the end of 2020. It is critical that the EU demonstrates international leadership on its NDC, to help support the increase of ambition in the run up to COP26.

Ahead of Commission President Ursula von der Leyen State of the Union 2020 speech, and in the run up to Climate Week in New York, the signatories are urging European leaders to avoid the worst effects of climate change and secure a sustainable, competitive economic recovery.

This letter builds on from the success of the 2019 Sibiu CEO letter, which was signed by CEOs from more than 50 businesses, investors and business networks, and called on the EU to endorse a long-term decarbonisation strategy to achieve climate neutrality by 2050.


Raising the EU’s 2030 GHG emissions reduction target

Business and investor CEOs urge the EU to raise EU 2030 GHG emissions targets to at least 55%

Ursula Von der LeyenIn an open letter CEOs urge EU heads of state and the European Commission to support an emissions reduction target of at least 55 per cent by 2030

CEO letter Annex: Supporting evidence and business and investor actions on climate

Annex CEO letter on EU 2030Read about the evidence in support of an increased EU 2030 target, including examples of business and investor climate action in the Annex to the CEO letter EU 2030 targets. 

CEO business quotes on raising climate ambition and emission reduction targets for 2030


Hear from business leaders why they are calling for increased EU climate ambition and a 2030 GHG target of at least 55 per cent by 2030.

CEO letter features in 2020 State of the Union address

Excerpt of President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen’s address to the European Parliament.

CLG report: Raising European climate ambition for 2030

Raising European Climate amCLG Europe policy briefing bringing together CLG Europe’s position statement on an increased EU greenhouse gas emissions reductions target for 2030 to at least 55 per cent

Thought leadership: Green recovery knowledge hub

Resilient recoveryThis knowledge hub includes thought leadership on how policymakers and business leaders can back a green economic recovery that puts Europe and the UK on the path towards economic renewal and climate neutrality.
























"I support a 2030 ambition for Europe of at least 55% reduction in CO2 emissions. A cost-effective electrification of the European economy, furthering the use of low carbon electricity and innovative solutions in transport, housing and industrial processes, is not only what is right for the climate, but is also a matter of industrial policy and energy security. EDF’s electricity production in Europe is already more than 90% low-carbon today and EDF will continue to be a key player of this breakthrough in the next decade." 

Jean-Bernard Levy, Chairman and CEO, EDF

"As we work together to achieve a green recovery from COVID-19, we have an unprecedented opportunity to act on climate change and gain momentum on our path towards carbon neutrality in Europe. Setting clear and ambitious targets is necessary to reach net zero. All of us – businesses and governments – can take actions that are good for growth, jobs and the economy, as well as for the planet." 

Casper Klynge, Vice President European Government Affairs, Microsoft

"European businesses and investors know that the only viable economic future that can deliver prosperity and wellbeing is one that stabilises the climate. They are standing up and standing together to call on the EU to ensure its near-term emissions targets get the continent on track to reduce the worst impacts of climate change and deliver net zero by 2050. We must learn from the pandemic that putting in place resilient and socially just economic systems is vital and that building back better must be at the core of the EU's recovery package." 

Eliot Whittington, Director, CLG Europe

"Leading companies believe that it is crucial for the EU to reduce its emissions by at least 55% by 2030 and to be net-zero by 2050. Ambitious climate policies give businesses the clarity and confidence they need to accelerate their investments and transition to the zero-carbon economy. An ambitious climate target will create jobs and drive economic growth." 

María Mendiluce, CEO, We Mean Business coalition