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More than 120 leading businesses urge UK Government to legislate for 2050 net zero economy

last modified Jun 04, 2020 08:45 AM
May 31 2019 – More than 120 leading UK businesses, investors and business networks, including the CBI, Anglian Water, John Lewis Partnership, BT, Aviva, Arup, Coca-Cola and Kingfisher, are calling on the UK Government to put climate neutrality by 2050 into legislation immediately.

Business response to CCC

Read the letter here

In an open letter, CEOs from across the economy are urging the UK to accept the recommendations of the Committee on Climate Change and lead the way by becoming the first major economy to legislate for an ambitious, domestic decarbonisation target that delivers net zero by 2050 at the latest.

The letter, signed by 128 businesses, investors and business networks, states: ‘As leading businesses and investors, we are determined to support an affordable transition and drive innovation. Many of us are setting our own net-zero and science-based targets. We are also increasingly investing in and purchasing clean energy, using low emission and electric vehicles, converting land to carbon sinks and improving energy efficiency throughout our operations and portfolios – and making new green jobs in the process.

‘We are doing this because we see the threat that climate change poses to our businesses and to our investments, as well as the significant economic opportunities that come with being an early mover in the development of new low-carbon goods and services. But we need effective, long-term policies to support the investment and innovation required if the UK is to accelerate the necessary transition and ensure it is delivered fairly.’ 

The signatories come from both multi-national and national businesses, across industry sectors, including energy, finance, consumer goods, retail, construction, water and communication.

The business and investment networks supporting this initiative include the CBI, The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group (CLG), the Aldersgate Group, and the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC), representing more than 190,000 businesses, more than 7 million workers, and more than £20trillion in assets under management.

The signatories acknowledge the urgency of the climate crisis, calling on the UK to legislate immediately to end its contribution to global warming within 30 years.

 

Carolyn Fairbairn, Director-General, CBI said: “Business stands squarely behind the ambition for the UK to have a net zero emissions economy by 2050 and build on our global leadership in cutting greenhouse gas emissions. Immediate and decisive action is needed to avoid the catastrophic impacts of climate change, and create opportunities in low carbon technologies.

“However, it is critical that when setting a net-zero target, the Government works with businesses and the public to make the changes they need to deliver this. Businesses are already helping to lead the way, and clear and aligned roadmaps are needed for the sectors that face the toughest challenge in achieving this target. The CBI has previously called for cross-Government consensus on the transition that includes those businesses that are fundamental to delivering net-zero emissions and this should be pursued once a target has been established.”

 

Eliot Whittington, Director, The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group (CLG) said: “Changes in the power sector have already shown how the UK has built strong foundations for a new zero-carbon economy, and in doing so won huge benefits, such as cleaner air, and the establishment of a global lead in the offshore wind industry.

“Committing to a 2050 net-zero goal will sound the starting gun for the next wave of innovation and investment, sending a clear signal to business and investors that they should plan for a zero-carbon future, and work to position the UK at the heart of the new industries that will be created as the world steps up its response to climate change.”

 

Peter Simpson, CEO, Anglian Water: “We have committed ourselves to even greater reductions and recently the whole of the UK water industry agreed to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2030. This experience has convinced us that more ambitious national targets are not only essential but they are also good for business.”

 

Leendert den Hollander, Vice President & General Manager, Coca-Cola European Partners said: “As a business with significant operations in Great Britain we’re already investing in the transition to a low-carbon future. We have reduced the carbon impact of our core operations by 62% since 2010 but we know there is much more to do across all of society. A clear sense of direction from the Government’s policies on climate change is vital to allow everyone in business to plan for a zero-carbon future. That’s why we would encourage the Government to bring forward a target for net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in Great Britain by 2050 at the latest.” 

 

Julie Hirigoyen, chief executive at UKGBC said: “The writing’s on the wall for business and policymakers alike: the time for climate action is now. This letter demonstrates that the climate crisis is rising to the top of boardroom agendas by the sheer number of business heavyweights calling for Government to legislate for a net zero carbon UK. No doubt many of these leaders recognise the growing opportunities of transforming their businesses for a net zero carbon economy. Given that the built environment contributes around 40% of the UK’s total carbon footprint, this is particularly true of the construction and property industry, so we’re delighted to see so many of our members as signatories on this letter.”

 

Signatories

Since sending the letter, six additional signatories have been added.

  1. Keith Skeoch, CEO, Aberdeen Standard
  2. Pauline Walsh, CEO, Affinity Water
  3. Alistair McAuley, Managing Director UK&I, AkzoNobel
  4. Nick Molho, Executive Director, Aldersgate Group
  5. Joanna Bacon, Partner, Allies and Morrison
  6. Andy Milner, CEO, Amey
  7. Peter Simpson, CEO, Anglian Water
  8. Stuart McLachlan, CEO, Anthesis Group
  9. David Partridge, Managing Partner, Argent (Property Development) Services LLP
  10. Manfred Rudhart, CEO, Arriva
  11. Dervilla Mitchell, CBE, Chair UK, India, Middle East and Africa, Arup
  12. Patrick Bellew, Principal, Atelier Ten
  13. Charles Kirwan Taylor, Chairman, Atlas Infrastructure
  14. Jason Sibthorpe, Principal and President U.K., Avison Young
  15. Maurice Tulloch, Group CEO, Aviva
  16. Steven Boyes, CEO, Barratt Developments Plc
  17. Rab Bennetts, OBE, Director, Bennetts Associates Architects
  18. Amanda Mackenzie OBE, CEO, BITC
  19. Steve Burr, Director, Black Architecture
  20. Melanie Leech, Chief Executive, BPF
  21. Caroline Rush, Chief Executive, British Fashion Council
  22. Chris Grigg, Chief Executive, The British Land Company PLC
  23. Denise Le Gal, Chair, Brunel Pension Partnership
  24. Chris Oglesby, CEO, Bruntwood
  25. Andy Wales, Chief Digital Impact and Sustainability Officer, BT Group
  26. Hayden Wood, CEO & Co-founder, Bulb
  27. Neil Squibbs, Chief Executive Officer, BuroHappold Engineering
  28. Gerry Keaney, CEO, BVRLA
  29. Paul Lewis, CEO, Carbon Credentials
  30. Carolyn Fairbairn, Director General, CBI
  31. Steve Timbs, Executive Director, Head of UK Building Consultancy, CBRE
  32. Paul Dickinson, Executive Chair, CDP
  33. Richard Hookway, CEO, Centrica Business
  34. Ray Upjohn, Chief Executive, chapmanbdsp
  35. Andrew Brown, CEO, Church Commissioners for England
  36. Leendert den Hollander, Vice President and General Manager, Coca-Cola European Partners
  37. Dougie Sutherland, CEO, Cory Riverside Energy
  38. Azos L. Rashid, Board Director, Crowd2Fund
  39. Tomás Neeson, Managing Partner, Cundall
  40. Will Gardiner, CEO, Drax
  41. Edward Collins, CEO, Earth Capital
  42. Mark Chadwick, CEO, EcoAct
  43. Peter Madden, OBE, Founder Director, Ecovivid
  44. Simone Rossi, CEO, EDF Energy
  45. Lindsley Ruth, UK CEO, Electrocomponents
  46. Doug Kerr, Managing Director, Elementa
  47. Lawrence Slade, CEO, Energy UK
  48. Nicola Lovett, CEO, UK & Ireland, Engie
  49. Emma Howard Boyd, Chair, and Chair of the Investment Sub Committee of the Environment Agency Pension Fund, Environment Agency
  50. Richard Speak, Founder Director, Environmental Finance
  51. Chris Sheppard, Group CEO, European Metal Recycling EMR
  52. Richard Poole, Managing Partner, Fluxx
  53. Basil Demeroutis, Managing Partner, FORE
  54. Andy Steele, Group Chief Executive, Geoffrey Osborne Limited
  55. Joost Bergsma, CEO, Glennmont Partners
  56. Patrick Caiger Smith, CEO, Green Energy Options
  57. Craig McWilliam, CEO, Grosvenor Britain and Ireland
  58. Jon Fisher, CEO, GRS Group
  59. Ben Spencer, Managing Director, GS8
  60. Simon Willis, CEO, Hanson UK
  61. John Holland-Kaye, CEO, Heathrow Airport Limited
  62. Saker Nusseibeh, CEO, Hermes Investment Management
  63. Jon Lovell & Miles Keeping, Co-Founders, Hillbreak
  64. Gary Tucker, Managing Partner, Hoare Lea LLP
  65. Dean Drinkwater, Managing Director, Hutchinson Engineering
  66. Steve Sharratt OBE, CEO, IBMS
  67. Richard Walker, Managing Director, Iceland Foods Group
  68. Chris Brown, Executive Chair, Igloo
  69. Stephanie Pfeifer, CEO, IIGCC
  70. Douglas Lamont, CEO, innocent drinks
  71. Nigel Stansfield, President, Interface EAAA
  72. Adam Balon, Co-Founder, JamJar Investments & innocent smoothies
  73. Andrew Renshaw, Lead Director, UK Valuation & Professional Advisory, and UK Board Sustainability Sponsor, JLL
  74. Nick Lakin, Group Director of Corporate Affairs, Kingfisher plc
  75. Melanie Richards, Deputy Chair, KPMG UK
  76. Nigel Wilson, CEO, Legal & General
  77. Dan Labbad, CEO, Lendlease Europe
  78. John Vincent, CEO & Co-Founder, LEON
  79. Peter Rogers, Founding Partner, Lipton Rogers Developments LLP
  80. Roy Bedlow, CEO and Founder, Low Carbon
  81. Chris Harrop OBE, Group Marketing and Sustainability Director, Marshalls
  82. Rob Lambe, Managing Director, Melius Homes
  83. Julian Brown, Vice-President & UK Country Manager, MHI Vestas Offshore Wind
  84. Deane Flint, Branch President, MEU-UK & IRE, Mitsubishi Electric, Living Environmental Systems UK
  85. Keith Howells, Chair, Mott MacDonald Limited
  86. Ashley Muldoon, CEO, Multiplex Construction Europe Limited
  87. John Pettigrew, CEO, National Grid
  88. Julia Szajdzicka, Managing Director, ND Metering Solutions
  89. Stefano Agostini, CEO, Nestlé UK & Ireland
  90. Tom Greatrex, CEO, Nuclear Industry Association
  91. Matthew Wright, Managing Director, Ørsted UK
  92. Fiona Reynolds, CEO, Principles for Responsible Investment
  93. Andrew Ralston, CEO and Co-founder, Pure Planet
  94. Mathew Riley, UK Managing Director, Ramboll UK Limited
  95. Adam Starr, Managing Director, Redevco UK Ltd
  96. Ivor Catto, CEO, RES
  97. Justin Francis, CEO & Founder, Responsible Travel
  98. Benjamin Derbyshire, President, RIBA
  99. Sarah Merrick, CEO and Founder, Ripple Energy
  100. Mike Coupe, Chief Executive Officer, Sainsbury’s Supermarkets Ltd
  101. Mike Hughes, President, UK & Ireland, Schneider Electric
  102. Keith Anderson, CEO, ScottishPower
  103. Claire Mack, CEO, Scottish Renewables
  104. Liv Garfield, CEO, Severn Trent Plc
  105. David Sleath, CEO, SEGRO
  106. Sinead Lynch, Country Chair, Shell UK
  107. Alan Shingler, Chairman, Sheppard Robson
  108. Juergen Maier, CEO, Siemens UK
  109. João Pola, CEO, UK & Ireland, Signify
  110. Nicola Stopps, CEO, Simply Sustainable
  111. Paul Hamer, CEO, Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd
  112. Gregor Craig, President & CEO, Skanska UK
  113. Alistair Phillips-Davies, CEO, SSE
  114. Diba Salam, Principal & Founder, StudioDS
  115. David Palmer-Jones, CEO, SUEZ recycling and recovery UK
  116. Alan Pemberton, Managing Partner, TFT
  117. Ian Marchant, Executive Chairman, Thames Water
  118. Halla Tómasdóttir, CEO, The B Team
  119. Helen Clarkson, CEO, The Climate Group
  120. Dame Alison Nimmo, DBE, CEO, The Crown Estate
  121. Sir Charlie Mayfield, Partner & Chairman, the John Lewis Partnership
  122. Eliot Whittington, Director, The Prince of Wales's Corporate Leaders Group
  123. Bevis Watts, CEO, Triodos Bank UK
  124. Peter Anderson, Managing Partner, Troup Bywaters + Anders
  125. Julie Hirigoyen, CEO, UKGBC
  126. Sebastian Munden, Executive Vice President and General Manager, UK & Ireland, Unilever
  127. Steve Fraser, Chief Operating Officer, United Utilities
  128. Josh Bayliss, CEO, Virgin Group
  129. John Elkington, Founder, Volans
  130. George Latham, Managing Partner, WHEB Group
  131. Rick Willmott, Group Chief Executive, Willmott Dixon
  132. Nigel Topping, CEO, We Mean Business
  133. Frazer Mackay, UK Managing Director, Water, Energy and Industry, WSP
  134. Ricardo Moreira, Managing Director, XCO2

Learn more about the CLG's work with policymakers.