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Corporate Leaders Groups

Business leadership for a climate neutral economy

25 February 2015 – The Prince of Wales's Corporate Leaders Group (CLG) has welcomed the European Commission's new Energy Union framework strategy, published alongside its vision for a 2015 international climate agreement.

Sandrine Dixson-Declève is Director of the The Prince of Wales's Corporate Leaders Group, which brings European business leaders together with the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) to work on climate change solutions with global policymakers and business. In this press release she said the Energy Union framework strategy recognises the important role of energy efficiency measures in securing and decarbonising our energy supplies, but that the strategy should go further to incentivise industrial investment in clean energy. She called on policymakers to ensure the new strategy is translated into robust EU and national legislation to drive forward green growth:

"This is a rallying call to Europe’s leaders to gather around a new 'Grand Marshall Plan' and drive a robust low carbon Energy Union."

The Prince of Wales's Corporate Leaders Group will be looking at the Energy Union in greater detail over the coming days.

Commenting on the European Commission's vision for a 2015 deal on climate change, to be agreed in Paris in December, Ms. Dixon-Declève said the EU had shown clear international leadership with a target to cut emissions by 40 per cent by 2030, but that the move to include emissions from forestry and land use change in the target effectively lowered overall ambition:

"This sends the signal to other industrial sectors that they are being let off the hook – just when greater effort is needed. This is bad news for our business leaders who have invested up front in low carbon solutions and who believe that a robust target is needed to deliver wider change."

Although she welcomed the EU’s proposed global target of at least a 60 per cent cut on 2010 levels by 2050, she cautioned that "such an agreement should not in any way lower the EU’s own level of ambition by this time and its goal to net zero emissions".

Other countries are due to put forward climate action plans (called 'INDCs') by the end of March.