Business groups call on UK Prime Minister to deliver strong Paris Agreement pledge and urge businesses to join the campaignCLG
As hosts of the postponed United Nations COP26 climate summit the UK is being urged to lead the way for other nations to deliver similarly ambitious interim emission targets to ensure global temperature rises stay well below 2C and that efforts are pursued to limit it to 1.5°C.
In a letter to the UK Prime Minister, business groups highlighted the urgent need for the Government to set out an ambitious emissions target for 2030, known as a Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), by the end of this year.
The letter states:
“As we stand a year away from the start of the COP26 Climate Summit, and five years on from the Paris Agreement, we believe there is an opportunity for the UK to demonstrate the right level of ambition to guide a green recovery and secure international momentum. […]
“As the UK calls on other governments to set their own increased NDCs, it has a unique opportunity to catalyse action globally and lead the way for other countries to reflect this level of ambition. We hope you will announce an ambitious UK NDC before the end of the year…”
The business groups, including The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group, the Aldersgate Group, Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change, UK Green Building Council, The B Team, We Mean Business, UK Business Council for Sustainable Development, call on the UK’s NDC to be at least in line with the Paris Agreement, the UK’s own net zero by 2050 target and advice from the Climate Change Committee.
They are also encouraging business leaders to add their names to the letter to show the Prime Minister the strength of support from the business community for ambitious climate action.
Eliot Whittington, Director, The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group said:
“In committing to a substantial 2030 emissions target the UK Government will not only send a powerful signal to other nations on the level of ambition expected for COP26, it will also secure the UK’s leadership position on climate change and the vital need for a green recovery.
We hope that this message will only grow as more and more businesses add their voice to this call for an ambitious commitment.”
The letter outlines its support for an emissions pledge that is:
- Aligned with business targets: We represent businesses many of whom have set their own net zero targets, including a number who have signed the Business Ambition for 1.5 pledge, and investors that are aligning their portfolios to the goals of the Paris Agreement. UK businesses and investors would value a clear signal from the UK Government that ambition for the economy aligns with their own aims.
- Setting out clear ambitions for resilience: The NDC should be supported by solid plans and ambitions to ensure the UK is well prepared for the impacts of climate change.
- Embedded in UK policy: The NDC should include a comprehensive, just and inclusive delivery plan supported by all parts of government. We welcome your decision to publish a comprehensive Net Zero Strategy in the lead up to COP26. We stand ready to work with you on the development and delivery of this strategy, including policies that will deliver near-term emission reduction in multiple sectors.
- Supportive of the UK building back better: An ambitious NDC can support the UK’s green recovery efforts, helping deliver significant job creation and growth opportunities. Clear policy can encourage investment in the technologies, such as carbon capture and storage and hydrogen, and resource efficient business models that are essential for a competitive, zero emissions UK economy.
Nick Molho, Executive Director, Aldersgate Group said: “Having an ambitious NDC in place will crucially strengthen the UK’s leadership role ahead of COP26 and galvanise international ambition for decarbonisation ahead of this important summit. With increased commitments from countries with a large share of global emissions such as China, it is now key that the UK remains a leader on climate action, with a strengthened NDC in line with the Climate Change Committee’s advice, and backed by a comprehensive domestic plan to deliver its climate targets. This will put the UK credibly on track to meet its climate ambitions and deliver a sustainable economic recovery, whilst sending a powerful investment signal to mobilise private finance.”
Stephanie Pfeifer, CEO, Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC) said: “As host of COP26, the UK has a unique platform to support global ambition on climate action through setting out a progressive NDC this year. Investors are clear that governments should be much more ambitious in addressing climate change and this is a significant opportunity for the UK to demonstrate true leadership. This is even more vital as we look to ensure a sustainable recovery from the economic impacts of Covid-19.”
Márcia Balisciano, Chair, UN Global Compact Network UK said: “Five years on from the Paris Agreement, we face a health and economic maelstrom. But we must not overlook the climate crisis. The UK Government has an opportunity to commit to an ambitious Nationally Determined Contribution that will chart a path to a green recovery and the long-term well-being of both citizens and the economy.”
Jason Longhurst, Chair and Chief Executive, UK Business Council for Sustainable Development said: “For economic recovery, read green recovery – the two are inextricably linked. This proposed NDC is an opportunity to give clear direction that will galvanise businesses across all sectors to transition to Net Zero. UKBCSD members are proof that they have not only the will but, critically, the way, because they are already doing this and will share their expertise with others. We call on Government to set the benchmark, ultimately using legislation that supports the NDC and fixes the SDGs in the business psyche.”
If you want to find out more about NDCs and the significance of an ambitious UK NDC ahead of COP26 next year, please download our short CLG briefing on this issue.
- Nick Molho, Executive Director, Aldersgate Group
- Chris Turner, Executive Director, B Lab UK
- Amanda Mackenzie OBE, Chief Executive, Business in the Community
- Paul Dickinson, Executive Chair, CDP
- Chris Southworth, Secretary General, ICC United Kingdom
- Paul Vanston, Chief Executive, Industry Council for Packaging and the Environment (INCPEN)
- Stephanie Pfeifer, CEO, Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC)
- Kinvara Carey, General Manager, Natural Source Waters Association
- Halla Tómasdóttir, CEO and Chief Change Catalyst, The B Team
- Helen Clarkson, CEO, The Climate Group
- Peter Simpson, Chief Executive, Anglian Water Group, and Co-Chair, The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group; Colin Matthews, Non-Executive Chairman, EDF Energy, and Co-Chair, The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group
- Jason Longhurst, Chairman, UK Business Council for Sustainable Development
- Julie Hirigoyen, Chief Executive, UK Green Building Council (UKGBC)
- Márcia Balisciano, Chair, UN Global Compact Network UK
- María Mendiluce, CEO, We Mean Business coalition
Businesses who support the letter*:
- Peter Simpson, Chief Executive, Anglian Water Group, and Co-Chair, The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group
- Colin Matthews, Non-Executive Chairman, EDF Energy, and Co-Chair, The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group
- Jason Tarry, CEO, UK & Republic of Ireland, Tesco
*updated 2 November
Expressions of business support
If your organisation wishes to show its support for the public letter sent by business groups to the Prime Minister on 3rd November, on setting an ambitious UK 2030 NDC in line with the net zero target, please follow this link to sign on. All signatories will be added to the live list below, which will be regularly updated throughout November. The sign on page will remain open until 5pm GMT, Monday 30th November. Following this, and ahead of the global climate summit the UK is hosting on 12 December, a public statement will be made about the businesses who have expressed support.All Press Releases