skip to content

Corporate Leaders Groups

Business leadership for a climate neutral economy

12 March 2020 – Following the announcement of the UK Budget 2020, Eliot Whittington, Director of The Prince of Wales's Corporate Leaders Group, dissects the key elements of the Treasury's spending plans and the implications for UK climate policy.

Director of The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group Eliot Whittington said:

“This budget puts a strong foot forward on improving UK infrastructure and supporting UK innovation. It is also rightly framed in terms of the climate challenge we all have to face, and includes a number of welcome announcements. However it doesn’t deliver a clear vision for net zero that can make the whole greater than the sum of its parts. If the Government is to live up to its own words about the significance of the net zero target, then those actions and plans need to be mainstreamed across the whole budget, not swept into a green corner.

"Decarbonisation of the country requires significant infrastructure and innovation investment, and the Chancellor’s delivery of spending in key areas shows him opening his coffers to deliver the foundations of what could be a new economy - but from the detail presented so far it is difficult to tell the balance between investment in the old structures, or funding to establish the UK as the modern, competitive, green economy required to address the climate crisis. When the National Infrastructure Strategy and the Spending Review land, we will have a greater chance to see if this budget is part of a thought-through net zero strategy and is levelling up a green economy or a brown one.

"Last week business leaders issued a call to Prime Minister Johnson and his government to deliver a clear UK strategy for accelerating climate action. We urgently need robust, joined-up leadership to deliver net zero measures across the whole economy. Business is ready to kickstart the massive changes and investment required but it needs the confidence of knowing its government is serious, clearsighted, longtermist and able to deliver difficult decisions.”

Find out more about the Prince of Wales's Corporate Leaders Group and its engagement with UK policymakers.