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Business leaders urge EU to increase 2030 emissions reduction target to at least 55%

last modified Nov 26, 2019 05:33 PM
27 November 2019 – Members of the European Corporate Leaders Group (CLG Europe) are supporting a significant increase in the EU greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction target for 2030 in order to remain in line with climate neutrality by 2050.

CLG Europe, a leading group of progressive businesses including Unilever, Coca Cola European Partners, Interface and Signify recognise that to achieve climate neutrality by 2050, businesses must take action and ramp up investment without delay and a higher target of at least 55 per cent by 2030 will help strengthen this case.

In a position statement to the EU, CLG Europe said:

“CLG Europe…supports an increase to at least 55 per cent. A 55 per cent target is in line with recent studies suggesting that a minimum of 55 per cent reductions for 2030 is both necessary to remain in line with the 2050 climate neutrality goal, and feasible from a technical and economic point of view, with early action being more cost-effective than delay.

“As business leaders who aspire to build the climate neutral economy of the future, we urge you to agree the necessary policy foundations and set the direction of travel that will provide us with the clarity and confidence to act as rapidly and boldly as possible.”

CLG Europe members recognise the important role of business in achieving an EU emissions reductions target of at least 55 per cent by 2030. They are already adopting targets in line with the science of climate change and in support of climate neutrality by 2050. By decarbonising their operations and value chains, these companies are not only lowering their own emissions but also playing a key role in accelerating emissions reductions in the entire economy.

The rationale for accelerating emissions reductions over the next decade is clear. Earlier this year new analysis showed the EU would hit at least 50 per cent emissions reduction by 2030 with business as usual, and the EU Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen has committed to pursuing an increase in the targets from the current target of 40 per cent to 50 per cent or potentially 55 per cent. Recent studies showed that a 55 per cent target for 2030 is not only desirable but also feasible from a technical and economic point of view.

Eliot Whittington, Director, CLG Europe said:

“This is a significant move by a group of leading European businesses, who are ready and keen to accelerate the transition to a net zero economy and all the opportunities it can bring. A high ambition on 2030 is both essential to remain within the parameters of a 1.5C-increase world, and also will be good for the economy in the long-term.

“By adopting this increased target of at least 55 per cent and reflecting it through the new policies of the European Green Deal, innovation and investment can be unlocked to deliver the action needed for these next crucial 10 years.”

The statement also welcomes the “clear and highly significant commitment” laid out by EU Commission President-elect to publish, within the first 100 days of her five-year term, a European Green Deal setting the EU on a path to being the world’s first climate neutral continent by 2050 at the latest.


Read the briefing and access CLG Europe's net zero knowledge hub for EU decision-makers.

Find out more about the Centre for Policy and Industrial Transformation at CISL.