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Corporate Leaders Groups

Business leadership for a climate neutral economy
Business and Investors call on the EU to Set a Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Target

21 March 2024 - Over 100 businesses and investors signed a joint letter calling on the EU to set a greenhouse gas emissions reduction target of at least 90% by 2040. A robust climate target and the decarbonisation of our economies will improve the EU’s resilience to shocks, energy security and competitiveness

Read the letter here.

Read the Annex here.

In an open letter coordinated by CLG Europe, CEOs, leading businesses, investors, networks and SMEs across the EU, call on the EU to set a greenhouse gas emissions reduction target of at least 90% by 2040. This science-based target reflects the urgency and benefits of near-term action. Businesses and investors stress that a robust target will bring economic opportunities and competitiveness benefits while increasing energy security for citizens and businesses. They argue that the target, and climate more broadly, should be considered as a central element of the EU’s overall strategy to achieve these objectives.

According to the signatories, the EU should:

  • Integrate the target into a comprehensive industrial strategy, guided by a ‘competitive sustainability’ approach, allowing the EU to lead the global race of development of sustainable industrial ecosystems and industries.
  • Place the target at the centre of the EU’s overall strategy to enhance energy security by accelerating the clean energy transition and energy efficiency, and phasing out fossil fuels.
  • Build on the legacy of the Green Deal and effective implementation of the Fit for 55 Package.
  • Harness the opportunities presented by the circular economy and eco-design to tackle emissions stemming from the production of materials.
  • Create a clear signal to businesses and national governments of the importance in investing in nature-based solutions and the transition to a nature positive economy.
  • Set a robust target that will allow the EU to play a leading role to phase out fossil fuels, triple the rate of deployment of renewables and double energy efficiency rates globally.

Businesses and investors stand ready to play a key role in translating climate targets into concrete action, working hand in hand with policymakers.

Ursula Woodburn, Director of Corporate Leaders Group Europe, said:

“There is no doubt, climate change is multiplying the risks we face as ecosystems, economic and people. So today - businesses and investors are demanding bold and decisive action. A target of at least 90% emissions cuts by 2040 will prevent future shocks and finally deliver the crucial energy transition. It will bring economic transformation and increase the EU's competitiveness”.

Stephanie Pfeifer, CEO of IIGCC, said:

“Climate change poses a financial risk to businesses and investment portfolios. This risk is growing, and the rapid and orderly decarbonisation of the global economy is the key tool that we have to mitigate it. With this in mind, IIGCC supports the European Commission’s target for at least a 90% net reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared to 1990 levels by 2040. By setting an ambitious target, and integrating it into a comprehensive industrial strategy, the EU will also provide greater policy certainty to encourage the investment necessary to achieve these emission reductions.”

Markus Rauramo, President and CEO of Fortum Corporation, said:

Enabling the decarbonisation of societies through electrification is an integral part of Fortum’s strategy. Our climate policy advocacy and emission reduction target setting (SBTi 1.5 °C) are strongly based on climate science. As the global carbon budget is limited, early action and high EU ambition of at least 90% emission reduction in 2040 are most welcomed. In our view, such ambition is pivotal for both providing investment clarity for the rollout of the most efficient emission reduction technologies, and addressing the EU’s triple challenge of decarbonisation, competitiveness and security of supply.”

Lars Petersson, CEO of VELUX, said:

To be ready for 2050, we need a 2040 EU emission reduction target of at least 90%. A significant part of this reduction needs to come from the building sector, which currently accounts for over a third of GHG emissions. At VELUX, by 2030, we aim to achieve a 100% reduction of operational emissions (scope 1 and 2) and reduce our carbon emissions from our value chain by 50% (scope 3). To get there, we collaborate closely with our whole value chain to create low carbon, energy efficient and healthy buildings.”

Miguel Stilwell d'Andrade, CEO of EDP, said:

Over 85% of the energy produced by EDP comes from renewable sources – this showcases how we integrate climate action into our business growth strategy. The European Union has been a world leader on climate action, and we believe European leaders should continue to play a key role by setting a bold target of at least a 90% emissions reduction by 2040. Combatting climate change and accelerating the energy transition remain the cornerstones of a European strategy that will ensure competitiveness, innovation, resilience, and security”.