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Corporate Leaders Groups

Business leadership for a climate neutral economy
BGA Business Leaders' Summit

04 July 2024 - Last week, the UK Business Group Alliance for Net Zero (BGA) held its Business Leaders’ Summit on 26 June at the Design Museum in London. Discussion centred around policy gaps and paths for success for the UK government.

Organised by the UK Corporate Leaders Group and supported by Amazon, the Business Leaders' Summit convened over 80 guests from more than 60 business and financial institutions to demonstrate business and investor action, identify policy gaps and galvanise cross-sector business/investor support for collaboration opportunities.

Eliot Whittington, Chief Systems Change Officer, CISL, and Director of the Corporate Leaders Groups, kicked off the event. With the UK General Election being held on 4 July, Eliot highlighted the need for the next parliament to maintain the UK’s progress towards net zero. The UK is due to share its commitments via its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) target by early next year, shaping policy attitude around the world. The Summit offers an opportunity for businesses to feed into this discussion and call for increased ambition from the next government.

“We have gathered a mix of experts in the policy and business community. These conversations should provide real deep thinking,” stated Whittington.

Amazon’s Director for Public Policy, Monica Ariño, and Dimitri Zenghelis, Advisor to the Bennett Institute, both provided insightful keynote speeches. Ariño shared how Amazon are working alongside climate scientists and experts to drive forward climate action and welcomed attendees to visit Amazon’s fleet of electric vehicles. Zenghelis gave an inspiring call for action, reflecting on the fundamental nature of change and how even leading experts have made systematic errors in the past decade. He recognised the opportunities with a low-carbon transition, and how voting for a party favouring renewable technologies will drive the nature of a re-enforcing feedback mechanism.

"Tackling climate change is ultimately not a technological or economic problem; it is a political and behavioural problem,” Zenghelis said.


A BGA leadership panel followed, moderated by CLG UK Director, Beverley Cornaby. She reiterated the importance of the UK needing a consistent approach in sustainable policy and how we must ensure the UK returns to being a climate leader.

The panel included:

  • Elena Pérez Celis, Head of Policy & Public Affairs, Bankers for Net Zero
  • Miranda Barker OBE, Chief Executive, East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, BCC
  • Rachel Solomon Williams, Executive Director, Aldersgate Group
  • Tania Kumar, Net Zero Director, CBI

The panellists set the scene for the subsequent roundtables that attendees joined on various topics and sectors. The panel explained business expectations and priorities for the next UK government, looking ahead to COP29 and the next UK NDC. The unanimous message coming from all panellists was the need for consistency, collaboration, decisiveness of policy and, above all, “delivery, delivery, delivery”.

Eight roundtables discussed policy gaps and barriers within certain topics, what policy recommendations should be developed to enable business action, and where there are examples of action where business practice has supported these asks.

The roundtables focussed on:

  • UK NDC and 1.5 Degrees: The UK’s overarching ambition and the role of business
  • Climate and finance – The NCQG and the role of business and innovative finance models
  • Heavy industry and supply chain decarbonisation
  • Energy transition and grid decarbonisation
  • The built environment: retrofitting, energy efficiency, new buildings
  • Land use and adaptation and resilience: The UK’s land use strategy
  • Low Carbon Innovation and technology for climate solutions
  • Sustainable road transport

The discussions will feed into a synthesis report that will be produced in the autumn, identifying policy asks, barriers and key opportunities for collaborative action for the UK government.

Read more about CLG UK's engagement with policymakers.

Read more on CISL's Policy hub.

Register here to be kept updated on the synthesis report.

For enquiries, please contact:

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Zoe Kalus, Head of Media

Email | T: +44 7845 652 839

About the BGA

The UK Business Group Alliance for Net Zero (BGA) is a formal network of leading business groups working to increase political and business ambition with the aim of achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 in the UK.

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