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Corporate Leaders Groups

Business leadership for a climate neutral economy

Thought leaders including Dame Polly Courtice, Director of the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL), Eliot Whittington, Director of CLG Europe, María Mendiluce, CEO of the We Mean Business coalition, Ursula Woodburn, Head of EU Relations CLG Europe, and Harry Verhaar, CLG Europe Chair outline priorities build a more resilient economy that puts Europe on the path towards climate neutrality.


Peter Simpson, Chief Executive of Anglian Water and co-chair of The Prince of Wales's Corporate Leaders Group, makes the case for business to step up and build a green recovery by acting on ambition.

"It’s the steps we can take that will give confidence to Governments to act. Much like words, targets alone won’t deliver. But by making reference to what we already know is possible, targets can be both ambitious and achievable."

Read Peter Simpson’s article in full: Hot air won’t power our green recovery – the time for action is now

Colin Matthews, Chairman of EDF Energy and co-chair of The Prince of Wales's Corporate Leaders Group, urges UK organisations to commit to rebuilding the economy and tackling climate change.

"Coronavirus has caused great suffering and changed the way we live and run our businesses. Amidst the grim headlines, I have been inspired by the ingenuity, hard work, collaboration and generosity with which individuals, communities and businesses have responded. Can we hang on to the positive changes for the future?"

Read Colin Matthew’s article in full: Green Growth - Investing in low carbon infrastructure

As Covid-19 recovery plans are developed, Dame Polly Courtice, Director of the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL), reflects upon the need for a new contract to be negotiated between business, government and society. One that is built not just upon the resilience of our businesses and financial systems, but of the societies and nature upon whom we unequivocally depend.

"As recovery plans are being developed, armed with a new understanding about the possibilities of transformational change, there are glimpses into how we might take a systems approach to the existential threats of climate change and the destruction of nature, besides which the pandemic pales into insignificance." 

Read Dame Polly Courtice’s article in full: Human activity on the planet has deafened us to messages from nature. The pandemic has caused a pause in the noise. But will we listen?

The European Council must now take the chance to create a healthier, fairer and secure environment, argues Ursula Woodburn of the European Corporate Leaders Group

"Coronavirus has not diminished the urgency needed to decarbonise our economies and restore nature, and climate targets still need to be scaled up to at least 55% for climate impacts to have a chance of being controllable." 

Read Ursula Woodburn’s article in full: A green business blueprint for a resilient Covid-19 recovery in Europe?

Europe must commit to strengthening the Green Deal and a 55% greenhouse gas reduction target for 2030, to ensure the economic recovery is consistent with the achievement of long-term climate objectives, say Eliot Whittington, Director of CLG Europe and María Mendiluce, CEO of the We Mean Business coalition.

"Never before have governments seen such massive support from business to ensure climate neutrality so that we can secure all the benefits that would bring to society." 

Read the full EURACTIV article from María Mendiluce and Eliot Whittington: EU climate neutrality is essential, or recovery will be short-lived

CLG Europe Chair Harry Verhaar, Head of Global Public & Government Affairs and a Vice President at Signify, urges policymakers to create economic stimulus packages that pave the way for a brighter, more prosperous future, including an economy-wide renovation wave to eliminate global building and construction sector emissions.

"Let’s jointly build the “new normal” of a carbon neutral Europe that looks back in 2050 to how an unprecedented crisis in 2020 helped us see clearly enough to change the course of the future." 

Read Harry Verhaar’s blog post in full: The climate neutral future: Together we can build Europe’s new normal

Eliot Whittington, Director of CLG Europe, reflects on the disruptive moment created by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and how we can work together to rebuild more resilient systems.

"The pandemic is another reminder that urgent action on climate change is essential, and that as we shape that action we need to think about the human impact of such changes - to follow a just transition in some people's terms."

Read Eliot Whittington’s blog post in full: As we rebuild, we must avoid sleepwalking into the next crisis

Dame Polly Courtice, Director of the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL), reflects upon the impact of Covid-19 on business, society, and our collective future.

"Globally, we have to take this moment to reflect on the need to change and transform our society; to explore lessons from the past and reset our expectations for the future. The shocks to the system that we are experiencing now, and anticipate in future, raise so many questions about the things that we have taken for granted, and demonstrate what is possible when we need to respond urgently. So this is a crucial time to be asking some big questions."

Read Dame Polly Courtice’s article in full: Covid-19 and creating the future we want