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Leading business urge EU to show ambition on climate change

last modified Aug 20, 2019 09:30 AM
15 June 2017 – Leading international companies with operations in Europe have written to European environment, climate and energy ministers ahead of the June Environment and Energy Council meetings, urging them to support a continued focus on action to tackle climate change.

 Read the letter

The letter, sent today, says that the EU must continue to demonstrate leadership on climate change in order to drive jobs, growth, and investment, and remain competitive with other major economies. It highlights the increasing ambition of emerging economies such as China and India and the need for continued leadership from the EU if European industries are going to survive in the competition for low carbon goods and services.

The letter is signed by 21 companies who collectively represent over €300 billion in revenue, along with an investors’ association managing assets worth a total of €18 trillion. The signatories are: Acciona, Anglian Water, Covestro, DSM, Ecover, EDF group, EON, Ferrovial, Iberdrola, IIGCC, IKEA Group, Interface, Interserve, Mirova, Novo Nordisk, Philips, Sappi, Schneider Electric, Skanska, Stora Enso, Thames Water and Unilever.

Harry Verhaar, Head of Global Public & Government Affairs at Philips Lighting said:

“We know the future of our business will be low carbon: it’s the only future that allows us to create a viable as well as prosperous future for all. The transition to a clean future is inevitable, but it must be significant and swift in order for EU economies and businesses to remain globally relevant and competitive. We need European ministers to set a clear and ambitious policy framework, including an adequate energy efficiency target, that gives a clear and immediate imperative for investment in our sustainable future.”

Jill Duggan, Director of the Corporate Leaders Group and EU Green Growth Platform, said:

“This letter is a timely reminder that Europe’s leadership on climate is being challenged by the large emerging economies, and that a strong, ambitious policy framework is needed to help European industry transition to the low carbon economy required to meet the Paris Agreement.”

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Claudia Elliot, di:ga Communications,, 07792 114449; Adele Williams, CISL,, 01223 768451


The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group (CLG) brings together executives from a cross-section of European industry to accelerate progress towards a low carbon, sustainable economy. Through cross-fertilisation of ideas and influential conversations with policymakers and peers, the CLG advocates forward-looking solutions that build a resilient and prosperous future. The CLG is convened by the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL).

The Green Growth Platform brings together ministers from 16 European governments, businesses and Members of the European Parliament to discuss and debate the economic opportunities and challenges involved in the transition to a low carbon, resilient economy.

The Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC) is a network of nearly 140 members, including many of the largest pension funds and asset managers in Europe, who represent over €18 trillion in assets and take a proactive approach to managing risks and opportunities related to climate change.