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Corporate Leaders Groups

Business leadership for a climate neutral economy

2 May 2019 – Today the UK government’s advisory panel, the Climate Change Committee (CCC), has recommended that the UK aims for a net zero target for greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Read the business briefing

CCC business briefingEliot Whittington, Director of The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group (CLG) said:

“It is vital the UK Government follows the advice of the Committee on Climate Change and sets its goal of securing net zero emissions from our economy by 2050. The report clearly sets out that such a target is achievable and affordable, putting the UK on course to keep global warming to as little as 1.5°C if the rest of the world acts with a similar level of ambition.

“A 2050 trajectory will send a clear signal to business and investors that they should plan for a zero carbon future, focussing the immense innovative capacity of the UK economy on the new industries that will be created as the world steps up its response to climate change.

“Setting the target is only the first step. Most importantly the UK needs to set out how it will deliver a thriving, competitive zero carbon economy building on the good work of the Clean Growth and Industrial Strategies. This will require leadership from the top, clear commitment in every government department and close collaboration between government and business and other parts of the economy.”

Nick Brown, Head of Sustainability, Coca-Cola European Partners, Great Britain 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.”

Keith Anderson, CEO, ScottishPower said:

“The cost of our carbon economy is too high - too high on bills, our environment and our health. We strongly welcome the CCC’s recommendation that UK should set a net-zero emissions target by 2050. At ScottishPower, we have long recognised that our sector has a critical role to play. That’s why we generate 100% green energy, but if we are to deliver the recommended quadrupling of renewable electricity generation by 2050, we must be able to keep investing record amounts to deliver clean energy in the most cost effective way, through offshore and onshore wind.”

Steve Robertson, Thames Water Chief Executive, said:

“Climate change is perhaps the biggest challenge facing humanity and will directly impact on the provision of water and sanitation both here in the UK and the rest of the world. We recognise the need to urgently reduce greenhouse gases entering the atmosphere so to help build a better future for our customers and the environment, we’ve committed to work towards delivering net zero emissions by 2030. We continue to develop our plan on how we’ll achieve this but are proud to be stepping up our ambition and encourage others to do the same if we’re to collectively reduce the impact of climate change.”

In response to the Scottish Government’s confirmation that Scotland's greenhouse gas emissions target will be net-zero by 2045, Eliot Whittington added:

“It’s great that the Scottish government has led the way by swiftly following the advice of the Committee on Climate Change. Scotland has the potential to maintain that leadership by decarbonising its economy ahead of the rest of the UK – but business needs a consistent approach across the country and so we urge the UK government to quickly follow suit." 

Read the analysis from the Corporate Leaders Group on the Committee on Climate Change recommendation.