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Overwhelming majority of EU leaders in favour of climate neutrality by 2050 but no agreement reached

last modified Jun 20, 2019 09:08 PM
20 June 2019 – After a long debate during a European Council summit in Brussels, EU leaders failed to find consensus on agreement to an objective of climate neutrality by 2050, despite support from an overwhelming majority of EU Member States.

Instead, EU leaders have agreed to advance work on the conditions, the incentives and the enabling framework to be put in place to ensure a transition to a climate-neutral EU in line with the Paris agreement.

Commenting on the announcement, Director of The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group Eliot Whittington said:

“The movement of EU member states towards a 2050 net zero goal is inexorable, but it is too slow. Although the future EU economy must be inclusive and competitive as well as climate neutral, there can be no vision for the European economy that does not take the science and politics of climate change seriously. Business understands that net zero is the only viable option to keep global temperature rises in check and meet the targets set by the Paris Agreement. A clear commitment is the only way to address the challenge of climate change, giving businesses the stability and assurance they need to invest in the transition to a zero carbon economy. It is crucial that an ambitious plan to achieve climate neutrality by 2050 at the latest is put in action as soon as possible.”

The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group (CLG) has been calling on the European Union to set a net zero target for greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Members of the CLG have long-since recognised that the future of their businesses, stakeholders and clients rely on delivering the goals of the Paris Agreement.

This week the CLG published a briefing setting out what business sees as five priorities for Europe’s new leaders to help put the EU on track to end its contribution to climate change by 2050 at the latest. Earlier in the month in an open letter, over 50 leading European businesses, investors and business networks including the CLG urged heads of state to put climate change at the top of the EU agenda in order to provide businesses with the confidence needed to invest in sustainable, net zero industries of the future.