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Corporate Leaders Groups

Business leadership for a climate neutral economy

19 June 2024 – Following the European elections, a new political cycle begins, during which the EU heads of state will establish a new set of strategic priorities for the next five years. From a business perspective, these priorities should be based on the European Green Deal and incorporate a range of policies aimed at making Europe more competitive, resilient, just, and trustworthy.

Download here the business agenda

The previous legislative term was defined by extraordinary events such as the COVID-19 pandemic and the conflict in Ukraine, which significantly altered the global political and socio-economic landscape. With the recent elections for the European Parliament and the appointment of the next EU Commission, Europe needs to craft an updated strategic response to these complex challenges.

CLG Europe, in partnership with the We Mean Business Coalition, has developed a report designed to serve as a guide for the incoming institutions: “The Green Deal and Beyond: A Business Agenda for a Sustainable, Competitive and Resilient Europe”. With the European Parliament elections so recent, there is now debate on the way forward. A majority of voters have expressed a continued for the continuation of climate friendly policies, while there is no doubt that the political dial has shifted towards more conservative parties. The flagship Green Deal should remain a strategic compass for the work of the EU, but must be completed by policies aimed at bolstering European resilience, competitiveness and prosperity. In the face of increasing uncertainty and instability, investing in the clean transition presents enormous and various benefits, and this report explores which additional measures will be needed to achieve the long-term goal of fully decarbonizing Europe by 2050.

Against this backdrop, as a voice of European leading businesses, we present four deals with specific policy recommendations to complement the EGD:

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

Implementing the integrated set of deals requires EU institutions to take a systemic approach and coordinated work across departments. Doing so successfully will set the EU on a path that will make it more competitive, more resilient, more just and more trusted.  

Citing this report

University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL). (2024). The Green Deal and Beyond: A Business Agenda for a Sustainable, Competitive and Resilient Europe. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership.

Read quotes about the report here

Media contact:

Zoe Kalus, Head of Media

Email | T: +44 7845 652 839

Authors and acknowledgments

Dr. Sören Buttkereit, Ralf Pfitzner, Francesco Giannelli, Adeline Rochet and Krisztina Zálnoky, with support from Sanna Markkanen, Romain Pardo, Martin Porter, Diana Potjomkina, Eliot Whittington and Ursula Woodburn.

We also wish to acknowledge the valuable input and comments of Benjamin Denis (Senior Policy advisor / Head of Industrial Policy Coordination, IndustriAll), Sandrine Dixson-Declève (President, Club of Rome), Jennie Dodson (Senior Director,Policy Advocacy & Member Mobilization & Member of the WBCSD Extended Leadership Group), Prof. Dr. Ottmar Edenhofer (Director, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and Chair, European Scientific Advisory Board on Climate Change (ESABCC)), Dominic Gogol (Deputy Director – Policy, We Mean Business Coalition), Heather Grabbe (Senior Fellow, Bruegel), Connie Hedegaard, Neil Makaroff (Director, Strategic Perspectives), Johannes Meier (Honorary Professor for Leadership, HHL Graduate School of Management, Leipzig), Emily Murrell (Director, Policy Programme, IIGCC), Janez Potočnik, Julia Reinaud (Senior Director, Breakthrough Energy), Prof. Dr. Martin Stuchtey (Founder Systemiq and The Landbanking Group, Professor of Resource Strategy and Management at the University of Innsbruck School of Management) and Sandra Tzvetkova (Senior Policy Advisor, E3G).

We would like to acknowledge the input from CISL’s Centre for Sustainable Finance, including the Banking Environment Initiative and ClimateWise, as well as Erwan Beldjerba, Rosemary Boddington, Andrés Charry, Phil Downham, Abdelali El Majjaoui, Zoe Kalus, Roger Martinez Dolz, Adele Williams and Tom Yorke.


The opinions expressed here are those of the authors and do not represent an official position of the members of the Corporate Leaders Groups, CISL, the wider University of Cambridge, or clients.


Copyright © 2024 University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL). Some rights reserved. The material featured in this publication is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International Licence (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)

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