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Over 170 business and investor CEOs urge the EU to raise EU 2030 GHG emissions targets to at least 55 per cent

In a critical year for climate action, five years on from the landmark Paris Agreement and with the clock ticking for countries to ratchet up ambition before the end of the 2020, CEOs from over 170 businesses, investors  and business and investor networks, including Deutsche Bank, Google, IKEA and Unilever, are calling on EU policymakers to support an EU 2030 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction target of at least 55 per cent, necessary to raise the pace and focus of transition efforts for the EU to become a climate-neutral continent by 2050.

Business and investor CEO lRead the letter in full

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Read the press release

In an open letter coordinated by CLG Europe, CEOs from leading European businesses, investors and business and investor networks are urging EU heads of state and the European Commission to support an emissions reduction target of at least 55 per cent by 2030, and calling for an ambitious implementation of the EU recovery package focused on achieving a green and digital transition. By raising the EU 2030 target and delivering a more climate-resilient and regenerative recovery in response to the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, the EU can demonstrate international climate leadership in the run up to COP26 in November 2021. The letter indicates the diversity of European business support for increased climate ambition, with companies from sectors including, manufacturing, heavy industry, finance, consumer goods, textiles, power generation and technology supporting the 55 per cent target. 

The letter states:

“What we urgently need to see next is an ambitious implementation of the recovery package focused on achieving a green and digital transition, with the European Green Deal at its core and an elevated short-term emissions reduction target in its sights.”

“The right decisions now can help create and protect healthy, thriving and fair communities and secure a roadmap for a prosperous economy. Delivering Europe’s long-term ambition to become the first climate neutral continent by 2050 requires an extensive set of urgent measures to scale up action. From a business and investor perspective, clarity on the net zero transition pathway and timetables for each sector, as well as policy that enables substantial investments in carbon neutral solutions is essential.

“We are writing to call on you, as European leaders, to avoid the worst effects of climate change and secure a sustainable, competitive economic recovery by:

  • endorsing the ambition set out in the European Green Deal
  • submitting resilient recovery plans which enable the green investments needed to deliver climate neutrality
  • agreeing a clearly defined target to reduce domestic greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030 and associated objectives

“We understand the risks posed by climate change and biodiversity loss to our businesses and are already working to unlock change in key economic sectors. Investors, banks and insurers are working to transition portfolios to net zero emissions. More than 900 companies are taking science-based climate action and more than 400 have approved science-based targets. We are investing heavily in clean energy, energy efficiency and electrification, lowering emissions across value chains and the lifecycle of our products, and developing better practices in the bioeconomy.”

As a strong signal of business and investor leadership for a healthy, resilient, zero carbon recovery, the letter is being profiled by the UN Climate Champions Race To Zero campaign at the Opening Day of Climate Week NYC. The letter is being presented to Executive Vice President of the European Commission Frans Timmermans.

The signatories, members of the Corporate Leaders Groups, the We Mean Business coalition, as well as IIGCC and Business Ambition for 1.5C, and many business networks from across Europe, acknowledge the urgency of the climate crisis, calling on the EU to lead the way towards decarbonisation of the global economy by 2050 at the latest.

CLG Director Eliot Whittington said:

“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."

We Mean Business coalition: A global nonprofit coalition working with the world’s most influential businesses to take action on climate change. The coalition brings together seven international nonprofit organizations: BSR, CDP, Ceres, CLG Europe, The B Team, the Climate Group, WBCSD.

Business Ambition for 1.5C: An urgent call to action, led by a global coalition of UN agencies, business and industry leaders, calling on companies to commit to ambitious emissions reduction targets in line with a 1.5°C future through the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).

Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC): The European membership body for investor collaboration on climate change and the voice of investors taking action for a prosperous, low-carbon future.

Business Council for Sustainable Development (BCSD) Portugal: A non-profit company-based association that aggregates and represents more than 90 leading businesses in Portugal, which are actively committed to the transition to a sustainable world.

Centre of Energy Efficiency Solutions (CER) (Slovenia): CER’s mission is to accelerate innovative climate-neutral circular economy and green technologies that meet the environmental energy challenges.

European Alliance for Green Recovery: Alliance of ministers, chief executive officers and researchers urging the European Union to build its recovery package after the coronavirus crisis around the Green Deal strategy of sustainable growth – an initiative led by MEP Pascal Canfin.

European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE): EU-ASE’s vision is of a future where energy efficiency is central to the entire EU energy system and is a fundamental driver for citizens’ empowerment, decarbonisation, job creation, sustainable growth, competitiveness, productivity, innovation and energy security.

European Heat Pump Association (EHPA): Representing the majority of the European heat pump industry EPHA’s key goal is to promote awareness and proper deployment of heat pump technology in the European market for residential, commercial and industrial applications.

European Industrial Insulation Foundation (EIIF): A neutral and non-profit institution, promoting insulation as a top-of-mind method of enhancing sustainability and profitability.

EURIMA: The European Insulation Manufacturers Association and represents the interests of all major mineral wool producers throughout Europe.

Aldersgate Group (UK): An alliance of leaders from business, politics and civil society that drives action for a sustainable economy.

The Haga Initiative (Sweden): A network of companies that works to reduce carbon emissions from the business sector and highlight the climate issue by showing that ambitious climate strategies create business advantages and improve profitability.

Skift Business Climate Leaders (Norway): To accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy and support the Norwegian government in delivering on its national climate commitments by 2030.

Solar Impulse Foundation: To address environmental challenges while enabling economic growth, Bertrand Piccard has launched, through the Solar Impulse Foundation, the challenge to select 1000 solutions, that can protect the environment in a profitable way and present them to decision-makers to fast-track their implementation.

The Spanish Green Growth Group (Spain): A group of companies collaborating to create a roadmap (Barcelona Declaration) towards a low-carbon economy, with the aim of leading initiatives in the medium or long term and demonstrating the commitment to incorporate climate policies into business strategies.

WindEurope: WindEurope is the voice of the wind industry, actively promoting wind power in Europe and worldwide. We have over 400 members, active in over 35 countries.

Signatory businesses and investors: 

  1. Renato Mazzoncini, CEO and General Manager, A2A SPA
  2. Marta Cañada, CTO, Abora Solar S.L. 
  3. José Manuel Entrecanales Domecq, Chairman and CEO, ACCIONA 
  4. Giuseppe Gola, CEO, ACEA Group
  5. Philippe Zimmerman, CEO, ADEO 
  6. Christoph Schwaiger, CEO Global Sourcing and CR International, ALDI SOUTH Group
  7. Oliver Bäte, CEO, Allianz SE
  8. Henri Poupart-Lafarge, Chairman and CEO, ALSTOM 
  9. Yves Perrier, CEO, Amundi
  10. Pierre Giai-Levra, CEO, Anaxis Asset Management  
  11. Peter Simpson, CEO Anglian Water (& Co-chair of the Corporate Leaders Group UK)
  12. Alan Brookes, Group Executive - Europe, Middle East, UK, Arcadis 
  13. Patrick Mathieu, President & CEO, Armacell 
  14. Hüseyin Gökalp Çağlar, CEO, Artnivo E&C 
  15. Agostino Re Rebaudengo, Chairman and CEO, Asja Ambiente Italia 
  16. Philippe Donnet, CEO, Assicurazioni Generali
  17. Pascal Soriot, CEO, AstraZeneca PLC 
  18. Ben Murray, CEO, Avieco  
  19. Patrick Dixneuf, CEO, Aviva Europe, Aviva
  20. Alberto Castelli, CEO, BancoPosta Fondi Sgr 
  21. Frédéric Janbon, CEO, BNP Paribas Asset Management 
  22. Georges Kern, CEO, Breitling SA 
  23. Laura Chappell, CEO, Brunel Pension Partnership Ltd
  24. Neal Wolin, CEO, Brunswick Group
  25. Aiman Ezzat, CEO of Capgemini Group, Capgemini
  26. Roland Felder, CEO, Carl Rinke GmbH & Co. KG 
  27. Cees 't Hart, CEO, Carlsberg Group
  28. Massimo di Tria, CIO, Cattolica Assicurazioni 
  29. Sergio Menendez, President CEMEX EMEAA, CEMEX 
  30. Gareth Mostyn, CEO, Church Commissioners for England 
  31. Damian Gammell, CEO, Coca-Cola European Partners 
  32. Andreas Siegemund, CEO, Consolar Solare Energiesysteme GmbH
  33. Isaac Navarro Cabeza, CEO, Contazara, S.A 
  34. Giacomo Mareschi Danieli, CEO, Danieli & C. Officine Meccaniche SpA 
  35. Emmanuel Faber, Chairman & CEO, Danone 
  36. Christian Sewing, CEO, Deutsche Bank AG
  37. Dr. Frank Appel, CEO, Deutsche Post DHL Group
  38. Timotheus Höttges, CEO, Deutsche Telekom AG 
  39. Michael Zahn, CEO, Deutsche Wohnen SE
  40. Bart Van Muylder, CEO, Diepensteyn NV 
  41. Simon Levine, Managing Partner and Global Co-CEO, DLA Piper International   
  42. Will Gardiner, CEO, Drax Group 
  43. Roger van Bolxtel, CEO, Dutch Railways 
  44. Dr. Asoka Woehrmann, CEO, DWS Group GmbH 
  45. Johannes Teyssen, CEO, E.ON SE 
  46. Gordon Power, Co-Founder and CIO, Earth Capital 
  47. Jean-Bernard Levy, Chairman and CEO, EDF
  48. Miguel Stilwell de Andrade, Interim CEO, EDP - Energias de Portugal 
  49. Diego Percopo, CEO, EF Solare Italia
  50. Ângelo Ramalho, CEO, Efacec Power Solutions 
  51. Jonas Samuelson, President & CEO, AB Electrolux 
  52. Kees-Jan Rameau, Chief Strategic Growth Officer, Eneco  
  53. Francesco Starace, CEO & General Manager, Enel 
  54. Claire Waysand, CEO, ENGIE 
  55. John Keppler, Chairman and CEO, Enviva 
  56. Luca Bettonte, CEO, ERG SpA 
  57. Christoph Klein, Managing Partner, ESG Portfolio Management GmbH 
  58. Luis García Codrón , Director, Europa Mundo Vacaciones, S.L.U  
  59. Donald Hopper, Co-Founder & CEO, EVA Global 
  60. Kristof Vereenooghe, CEO, EVBox Group 
  61. Severin Schwan, CEO, F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd 
  62. Toni Volpe, CEO, Falck Renewables SpA
  63. Valentín Alfaya, Chief Sustainability Officer, Ferrovial
  64. Gianfranco Battisti, CEO and General Manager, Ferrovie Dello Stato Italiane 
  65. Gilbert Ghostine, CEO, Firmenich
  66. Ylva Wessén, CEO, Folksam Group 
  67. Jamie Reigle, CEO, Formula E Holdings 
  68. Markus Rauramo, President and CEO, Fortum Corporation 
  69. Sander Geelen, CEO, Geelen Counterflow 
  70. Edvardas Liachovičius, CEO, Girteka Logistics 
  71. Gilles Andrier, CEO, Givaudan
  72. Joost Bergsma, CEO and Managing Partner, Glennmont Partners 
  73. Matt Brittin, President, EMEA Business & Operations, Google 
  74. Mads Nipper, CEO, Grundfos 
  75. Helena Helmersson, CEO, H&M Group
  76. Christopher J. Nassetta, President & CEO, Hilton
  77. Henric Andersson, President and CEO, Husqvarna Group
  78. Ignacio S. Galán, Chairman and CEO, Iberdrola 
  79. Ilkay Özkisaoglu, Owner, IMBEO 
  80. Ian Simm, Founder and CEO, Impax Asset Management plc 
  81. Pablo Isla, Executive Chairman, INDITEX 
  82. Jesper Brodin, CEO, Ingka Group | IKEA
  83. Jon Abrahamsson Ring, CEO, Inter IKEA Group
  84. Ivan Kurtović, CEO, InterCapital Asset Management 
  85. Nigel Stansfield, President Interface, Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, Interface 
  86. Remco Boerefijn, CEO, IPCOM 
  87. Massimiliano Bianco, CEO, Iren S.p.A 
  88. Luis Goncalves, CEO, Iskraemeco 
  89. Cristian Bortolotti, COO, ISOLFIN
  90. Yves Desmet, CEO, ISoltechnics 
  91. Guy Grainger, EMEA CEO, JLL
  92. Ceila McKeon, Chief Executive, Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust
  93. Mantas Bartuška, CEO, JSC Lithuanian Railways 
  94. Carlo Spinelli, CEO and Owner, K-FLEX Group    
  95. Roland Gärber and Steen E.Hansen, Co-CEOs, KAEFER Isoliertechnik GmbH & Co. KG 
  96. Burkhard, Schmolck, CEO, Kaimann GmbH
  97. Marie-Angee Debon, CEO, Keolis
  98. Jean-Claude Carlin, Member of the Knauf Group Management Committee Insulation Europe / Middle East / Asia, Knauf Insulation 
  99. Detlef Trefzger, CEO, Kuehne+Nagel International AG   
  100. Tex Gunning, CEO, LeasePlan 
  101. Benoit Coquart, CEO, LEGRAND  
  102. Lars Appelqvist, CEO, Löfbergs 
  103. Marko Lukić, Owner and CEO, Lumar IG d.o.o 
  104. Markus Biland, Member of the Executive Board, MABI AG 
  105. Thierry Deau, President and CEO, Meridiam 
  106. Florent Menegaux, CEO, Michelin 
  107. George Muzinich, Chairman & CEO, Muzinich & Co. Limited 
  108. Peter Vanacker, President and CEO, Neste Oyj 
  109. Marco Settembri, CEO, Nestlé Europe, Middle East and North Africa, Nestlé S.A.
  110. Simone Balbi, COO, New Componit Srl
  111. Lars Fruergaard Jørgensen, President & CEO, Novo Nordisk
  112. Henrik Poulsen, CEO, Ørsted 
  113. Alexander Birken, CEO, Otto Group 
  114. Brian Chambers, Chairman and CEO, Owens Corning 
  115. Torben Möger Pedersen, CEO, PensionDanmark
  116. Silviu Popovici, CEO, PepsiCo Europe, PepsiCo 
  117. Andre Calantzopoulos, CEO, Philip Morris International 
  118. Jon Johnsen, CEO, PKA
  119. Robert, Agnič, CEO, Plastika Skaza d.o.o. 
  120. Thomas Ingenlath, CEO, Polestar AB
  121. Antonio Colombi, CIO, Poste Vita S.p.A. 
  122. Costas Travasaros, Chairman of the Board, Prime Laser Technology  
  123. John Voppen, CEO, ProRail 
  124. Isaías Táboas Suárez, President, Renfe 
  125. Arturo Revenga, CEO, REVENGA Smart Solutions 
  126. Alberto Forbiti, Chairman, Riva & Mariani Group S.p.A. 
  127. Jens Birgersson, CEO & President, ROCKWOOL International A/S  
  128. Dimitri de Vreeze, co-CEO, Royal DSM
  129. Anja-Isabel Dotzenrath, CEO, RWE Renewables GmbH (RWE Group) 
  130. Pierre-André de Chalendar, Chairman and CEO, Saint-Gobain 
  131. Gavin Patterson, President & CRO, Salesforce 
  132. Christian Klein, CEO, SAP SE 
  133. Jean-Pascal Tricoire, CEO, Schneider Electric
  134. Valentino Vascellari, CEO, SICET S.R.L
  135. Andreas Nauen, CEO, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy 
  136. Eric Rondolat, CEO, Signify
  137. Maarten van Dijk, Managing Director, SkyNRG 
  138. Kerry Adler, President and CEO, SkyPower Global
  139. Denis Machuel, CEO, Sodexo 
  140. Stephan Jantscher, CEO, SOLID Solar Energy Systems GmbH 
  141. Pierre-Etienne Bindschedler, CEO, Soprema Group 
  142. Gianfilippo Mancini, CEO, Sorgenia 
  143. Renat Heuberger, CEO, South Pole
  144. Martin Lindqvist, President & CEO, SSAB 
  145. Alistair Phillips-Davies, CEO, SSE 
  146. Christian Rynning-Tønnesen, CEO, Statkraft AS 
  147. Annica Bresky, President and CEO, Stora Enso 
  148. Odd Arild Grefstad, Group CEO, Storebrand 
  149. Bertrand Camus, CEO, SUEZ 
  150. Enrique Tombas, Founding Partner, Suma Capital
  151. John Fitzgerald, CEO, SuperNode 
  152. Daniela Carosio, Senior Partner, Sustainable Value Investors- Studio Carosio Daniela
  153. Heinz-Jürgen Bertram, CEO, Symrise AG 
  154. Miguel Varela, CEO, Teimas Desenvolvemento 
  155. José María Álvarez-Pallete López, Chairman & CEO, Telefónica S.A.
  156. Jaume Miquel, Chairman & CEO, Tendam 
  157. Ugo Bortolami, Owner, Termit srl  
  158. Emmanuel Maragoudakis, CEO, TERNA ENERGY SA 
  159. Adolfo Orive, CEO & President, Tetra Pak  
  160. Mette Lykke, CEO, Too Good To Go
  161. Patrick Pouyanné, Chairman of the Board & CEO, TOTAL S.E.  
  162. Jose La Loggia, President Commercial HVAC EMEA, Trane Technologies 
  163. Bevis Watts, CEO, Triodos Bank UK
  164. Alan Jope, CEO, Unilever 
  165. Magnus Hall, CEO, Vattenfall 
  166. Antoine Frérot, CEO, VEOLIA 
  167. Wolfgang Anzengruber, CEO, VERBUND AG 
  168. Morten Dyrholm, Group Senior Vice-President, Global Marketing, Communication and Public Affairs, Vestas Wind Systems A/S 
  169. Steve Rendle, Chairman, President and CEO, VF Corporation
  170. Nick Read, CEO, Vodafone Group 
  171. Martin Lundstedt, President and CEO, Volvo Group
  172. Olivier Pons Y Moll, CEO, WELYA 
  173. Sandeep Mathrani, CEO, WeWork
  174. George Latham, Managing Partner, WHEB Asset Management LLP
  175. Lisa Jackson, Vice President of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives, Apple
  176. Peter Fisher, Director, Bennetts Associates
  177. Adam C.T. Matthews, Director, Ethics & Engagement – Investment Team, Church of England Pensions Board
  178. Fleming Voetmann, Vice President Communications, Marketing & Sustainability, FLSmidth A/S 
  179. Casper Klynge, Vice President European Government Affairs, Microsoft 
  180. Pierre Morales, Development director, OUVAROFF
  181. Tom Holemans, Sales Director Industry EMEA, Pittsburg Corning Europe  
  182. Torsten Lütten, Business Development Germany, Savosolar GmbH 
  183. Thomas Pitsch , Board Member, Schwartmanns Maschinenbau GmbH 
  184. Cristiano Dionisi, Managing Director, SICOI

Signatory supporter organisations: 

  1. Nick Molho, Executive Director, Aldersgate Group 
  2. João Meneses, Secretary General, BCSD Portugal 
  3. Aron Cramer, President and CEO, BSR 
  4. Steven Tebbe, Managing Director, CDP Europe 
  5. Ana Struna Bregar, CEO, CER - Sustainable Business Network Slovenia 
  6. Eliot Whittington, Director, CLG Europe 
  7. Agostino Re Rebaudengo, President, Elettricità Futura 
  8. Jan te Bos, Director General, Eurima 
  9. Monica Frassoni, President, European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE) 
  10. Thomas Nowak, Secretary General, European Heat Pump Association (EHPA) 
  11. Andreas Gürtler, Foundation Director, European Industrial Insulation Foundation 
  12. Nina Ekelund, Executive Director, Haga Initiative 
  13.  Paul Polman, Co-founder and Chair, IMAGINE 
  14. Stephanie Pfeifer, CEO, Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC) 
  15. Sergio Andreis, Director, Kyoto Club 
  16. Bjørn Kjærand Haugland, CEO, Skift Business Climate Leaders 
  17. Bertrand Piccard, Chairman, Solar Impulse Foundation 
  18. Halla Tómasdóttir, CEO and Chief Change Catalyst, The B Team 
  19. Helen Clarkson, CEO, The Climate Group 
  20. Virve Groning, Managing Director, U-landshjälp från Folk till Folk i Finland sr 
  21. María Mendiluce, CEO, We Mean Business coalition 
  22. Giles Dickson, CEO, Wind Europe 

For the full press release, including quotes, please click here.

Find out more about CLG Europe's engagement with policymakers or visit the green recovery knowledge hub.