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Corporate Leaders Groups

Business leadership for a climate neutral economy

16 November 2016, Marrakech, Morocco – Business leaders and Ministers from across the EU have come together to discuss the innovation needed to transition to a zero carbon economy at an event hosted jointly by The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group and We Mean Business.

The EU has been at the forefront of climate action and is well placed to continue to lead the way for other countries in the transition to a zero carbon economy. It was pivotal in the great momentum leading to the early entry into force of the Paris Agreement and has led by example for other countries.

The EU has committed itself to reducing its emissions by 40 per cent by 2030  and by 80–95 per cent in 2050. A progress report published this month by the European Commission shows that EU emissions were reduced by 22 per cent between 1990 and 2015 while the economy grew by 50 per cent over the same period. It is also well on track to meet its 2020 emissions reduction target of 20 per cent.

Jill Duggan, Director, The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group, said:

“The EU can be proud of its remarkable track record of building a zero carbon economy. It has shown that protecting the climate can go hand in hand with economic growth. As we start implementing the Paris Agreement, Europe must stay at the forefront of climate action and seal the deal on its 2030 climate and energy framework as soon as possible. That means innovation needs to be at the heart of EU policy-making and business action.”

Today’s event, hosted by The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group and We Mean Business (WMB) brings together Ministers, business leaders, and thought leaders from across Europe to reflect on the lessons learned in the EU and discuss how to take policy-making and business innovation to the next level.

Participants include:

  • Vidar Helgesen, Minister of Climate and Environment, Norway
  • Maxime Bureau, Director of Government Affairs, 3M
  • Tom Delay, Chief Executive Officer, Carbon Trust
  • Valentín Alfaya, Director of Quality & Environment, Ferrovial
  • Karsten Sach, Director General of Climate Policy, German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Buildings & Nuclear Safety
  • Jean-Yves Caneill, Head of Climate Policy, EDF
  • Pablo Saavedra, State Secretary for the Environment, Spain
  • Damien Meadows, Advisor for European and International Carbon Markets, European Commission

Businesses increasingly recognise the opportunities of taking climate action and driving this kind of innovation. This is shown by a working paper, Driving Low-Carbon Growth Through Business and Investor Action, published this week by The New Climate Economy in partnership with the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership and CDP, which highlights the crucial role of global business in the transition to a zero carbon economy and the importance of public policy in stimulating business innovation.