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The devil is in the detail on EU climate and energy plans, say business leaders – 25 February 2015

last modified Aug 02, 2017 12:23 PM

For immediate release, Wednesday 25 February 2015

The devil is in the detail on EU climate and energy plans, say business leaders

The success of climate and energy plans released by the European Commission today (Wednesday 25 February) now hangs on how effectively they are implemented, say business leaders.

The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group welcomed the Commission’s Energy Union framework strategy and its vision for a climate deal in Paris later this year, saying they show clear international leadership and a commitment to low carbon growth.

But the Group of European business leaders warned that including emissions from forestry and land use in the EU’s target to cut its emissions by 'at least' 40 per cent (on 1990 levels) by 2030, would effectively reduce cuts required by other sectors – just when they are needed the most.

Commenting on the European Commission’s communication on the Paris Protocol Sandrine Dixson-Declève, Director of The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group said:

"Europe demonstrated international leadership on climate back in October by proposing EU emissions are cut by 'at least' 40 per cent by 2030 – other countries must now follow suit.

"But moving to include emissions from forestry and land use change in the EU’s target sends the signal to other industrial sectors that they are being let off the hook – just when greater effort is needed. This is bad news for our business leaders who have invested up front in low carbon solutions and who believe that a robust target is needed to deliver wider change."

Although she welcomed the EU’s proposed global target of a 60 per cent cut on 2010 levels by 2050 and the push for major economies to agree a target, she cautioned that "such an agreement should not in any way lower the EU’s own level of ambition by this time and its goal to net zero emissions".

Commenting on the Energy Union framework strategy, she added:

"This strategy is a sound basis for getting Europe’s house in order. It moves from supply side solutions and recognises the important role energy efficiency has to play in securing and decarbonising our energy supplies, but gas is still king, and we will need a clear investment plan and capital markets union to drive industrial-scale investment in clean energy.

"It’s now up to policymakers to ensure the strategy is translated into robust EU and national legislation – this is a rallying call to Europe’s leaders to gather around a new 'Grand Marshall Plan' and drive a robust low carbon Energy Union".

ENDS

Notes to editors

1. The final Energy Union framework strategy and 2015 international agreement vision document are available here: http://ec.europa.eu/clima/news/articles/news_2015022501_en.htm.

2. The Prince of Wales's Corporate Leaders Group (CLG) is a group of European business leaders working together with the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) on climate change solutions with global policy makers and business. Thousands of businesses around the world have called for a robust international climate deal through our business Communiqués since COP13. For more information see http://www.cisl.cam.ac.uk/clg.

3. The University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) brings together business, government and academia to find solutions to critical sustainability challenges, deepening leaders' insight and creating opportunities for collaborative action through business platforms such as the CLG. See www.cisl.cam.ac.uk.