As the European Commission sits down to discuss proposals for a new 2030 emissions target in time for the State of the Union address on Wednesday Sept 16, more than 150 European businesses, investors and business networks, including Carlsberg Group, Microsoft, IKEA, Deutsche Bank, Unilever, H&M, Google, EDF, Signify and Apple are calling on EU leaders to back the ambition set out in the European Green Deal and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030.
In an open letter, CEOs from across Europe and the economy have outlined their determination to work with the EU to tackle impacts of the Coronavirus pandemic while delivering a more climate-resilient and regenerative recovery. The letter indicates the diversity of European business support for increased climate ambition, with companies from sectors including, manufacturing, heavy industry, finance, consumer goods, power generation and technology supporting the 55% target.
Signed by 157 businesses and investors, and 21 business networks, the letter states: "What we urgently need to see next is an ambitious implementation of the recovery package focussed on achieving a green and digital transition, with the European Green Deal at its core and an elevated short-term emissions reduction target in its sights.
"The right decisions now can help create and protect healthy, thriving and fair communities and secure a roadmap for a prosperous economy. From a business and investor perspective, clarity on the net zero transition pathway and timetables for each sector, as well as policy that enables substantial investments in carbon neutral solutions is essential. This in turn would provide us with the confidence needed to invest decisively at the necessary pace and scale to reduce emissions, create decent green jobs, drive innovation, and accelerate the rebuilding of a resilient zero carbon economy."
Cees t’Hart, CEO at Carlsberg Group says; “We encourage ambitious climate action as part of the EU recovery package to drive action towards the Paris agreement from companies and civil society as a whole. Carlsberg is working towards the Science Based Targets outlined in our Sustainability Programme Together Towards ZERO and I am certain that if we all work together in partnership, we can ensure the transition to a resilient, low-carbon world.“
The initiative is led by the European Corporate Leaders Group (CLG Europe), a cross-sectoral group of European businesses working towards delivering climate neutrality.
It was delivered in partnership with Business Ambition for 1.5C , the We Mean Business coalition which includes BSR, The B Team, CDP, CLG Europe, Ceres, WBCSD, The Climate Group and its RE100 & EV100 networks, as well as with the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC). There was additional support from European business and investment networks including BCSD Portugal, the Centre of Energy Efficiency Solutions (Slovenia), the European Alliance for Green Recovery, EU-ASE, EURIMA, EIIF, EHPA, The Aldersgate Group (UK), The Haga Initiative (Sweden), Skift Business Climate Leaders, the Solar Impulse Foundation, The Spanish Green Growth Group (Spain) and Wind Europe.
Together, ahead of Commission President Ursula von der Leyen State of the Union 2020 speech, and in the run up to Climate Week in New York, the signatories are urging European leaders to avoid the worst effects of climate change and secure a sustainable, competitive economic recovery.