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Corporate Leaders Groups

Business leadership for a climate neutral economy
Green Deal Brussels event

20 June 2024 - The Green Deal and Beyond: A Business Agenda for a Sustainable, Competitive and Resilient Europe’ launch event was attended by key figures to discuss the critical guide for the incoming institutions.

Yesterday (19 June 2024), Corporate Leaders Group Europe (CLG Europe), together with We Mean Business Coalition (WMBC), launched a joint report “The Green Deal and Beyond: A Business Agenda for a Sustainable, Competitive and Resilient Europe” at a high-level event in Brussels.

Taking place in the Royal Library of Belgium, the event welcomed Jakop G. Dalunde, MEP; Sandrine Dixson-Declève, President of the Club of Rome, who delivered the closing remarks; Andrew Prag, Managing Director of Policy at WMBC; Martin Hojsik, MEP; and a video message from Teresa Ribera, Third Vice-President of the Government of Spain and Minister for Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge.

The event hosted two panel discussions, both moderated by Journalist Kira Taylor. The first covered Transforming Industry and Society for a Sustainable Future, with MEP Jakop Dalunde (Swedish Green), CLG Europe Chair and Iberdrola Director of Climate Change Gonzalo Saenz de Miera, DG Clima Senior Economist Riccardo Maggi and SSAB VP Head of Corporate Identity and Group Communications, Viktoria Karsberg.

They discussed the need for policy certainty and predictability for businesses to continue investing, which requires Europe to maintain its objectives and avoid instability. Electrification, in particular, was highlighted as essential for an effective transition. In general, the shift to truly sustainable economy goes with the right set of incentives and infrastructure investments, and should be done in a way that is socially accepted, clearly highlighting the benefits for citizens.

The second panel covered Economic Growth and Political Leadership in a Green Europe, with MEP Martin Hojsik (Slovak Renew), Google Sustainability Lead Adam Elman, and Luxembourg Climate Youth Delegate Natasha Lepage.

Together, they explored the role business and investors can play in delivering on the transition, while keeping an eye on global inequalities and establishing new international partnerships. Ultimately, Europe must stick to its commitment to phase out fossil fuels at all levels, climate messages should be simple and accessible to all, and Europe should seriously tackle complexity and inconsistencies of its policy. There are no silver bullets, but clean technologies have a role to play, and nature is always part of the solution.

University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainable Leadership’s (CISL) CEO, Lindsay Hooper, addressed the room, saying: “Recent elections tell us that we haven’t done enough to make the necessary transition to a sustainable future sufficiently relevant to people, and to questions of competitiveness and security. In a world of conflicts, trade wars and concerns about immigration and costs of living, the transition to an economy that is sustainable in the true sense of the word is the task ahead of us. An economy that is competitive in the context of global trade and market dynamics, that is resilient to shocks and risks, and that delivers for people.

“This is something that CISL and the businesses that have joined and support our CLG Europe recognise.”

CLG Europe and CISL EU Director, Ursula Woodburn, explains the need for such a vital piece of work: “Europe faces a critical juncture. Our new business agenda builds on the legacy of the Green Deal with strategies for a competitive, resilient, fair and trusted EU.”

The Green Deal and Beyond report presents a forward-thinking business perspective on strategic policy priorities in Europe for the incoming European Commission and the European Parliament for the next five years, laddering up measures needed to achieve the long-term goal of fully decarbonizing Europe by 2050. Against a background of increasing political uncertainty, it delivers recommendations to support the EU in accelerating the transition towards a climate neutral, nature-positive and prosperous economy, building on the legacy of the European Green Deal (EGD).

It outlines four key deals to complement the EGD:

  • an Industrial Deal that acknowledges the EU’s industrial base and its role as the world’s largest trading block to support the transformation of Europe’s model of production;
  • an Economic Deal that builds on the tradition of strong public services and resilient infrastructures in the EU, and creates the public assets for Europe’s future;
  • a Social Deal that reflects Europe’s principle of social cohesion and inclusiveness, and involves citizens in the transformation;
  • a Political Deal that embodies the EU’s values of liberal democracy, accountability and long-term political vision.

Ursula Woodburn writes in the foreword: “We are looking for consistent, strategic and long-term policies, that can provide confidence and enable the scaling up of the products and services we need for a secure and prosperous future. This means leadership that provides direction and accountability, and has the courage to pursue societal good.

“CLG Europe is ready to play our part and to work in collaborations across companies, sectors, governments, and people. We look forward to working with partners and policy makers in the next mandate to deliver a sustainable, competitive and resilient Europe.”

Read the full Green Deal and Beyond publication here.

CLG Europe Co-Chairs Gonzalo Saenz de Miera, Director of Climate Change at Iberdrola, and Fleming Voetmann, Vice President of External Relations and Sustainability at VELUX, also co-authored an article for EuroNews to support the report launch, arguing that to achieve the goals for 2030 - while sustaining the ambition for 2040 - Europe requires a multifaceted approach.

Read the full opinion piece on Euronews.