A coalition of 78 major businesses and investors and 15 leading sustainability-focused organizations has issued a call on the UK government to go further in its climate initiatives and goals. In an open letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the group urges the government to establish an ambitious emissions target for 2030, known as a Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), aligned with the Paris Agreement and the UK’s own stated goal for net zero emissions by 2050.
Signatories to the initiative include companies such as ENGIE, National Grid, Coca-Cola, BT, and Unilever, and sustainability organizations including CDP, The Climate Group, IIGCC, and the Prince of Wales Corporate Leaders Group, among many others.
In November, PM Johnson introduced his 10-point plan for the UK’s Green Industrial Revolution. The plan will involve tens of billions of pounds of investments in areas including renewable energy, clean mobility and green building initiatives. In calling for a specific 2030 emissions target as a step on the road to net zero by 2050, the group is asking the government to go even further in its climate commitment.
Eliot Whittington, Director, The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group (CLG) – coordinating organisation for the letter to the Prime Minister, said:
“A substantial and realistic 2030 emissions target for the UK not only corrects our course to reach net zero by 2050, and shows the right level of ambition expected from other nations for COP26, it also fits with the actions needed to deliver a larger economy and more jobs.
“The Prime Minister’s recent Ten Point Plan has set out an unprecedented set of measures to credibly drive change across the economy towards decarbonisation, building new industries and restoring our economy. To secure the UK’s leadership position on climate change the government can build on these actions to set us on the right path to achieving climate neutrality in the next 30 years.”
According to the letter, signatories would support an NDC from the government that aligns with the targets of businesses and investors, sets clear ambitions for resilience, including solid plans and ambitions to ensure the UK is well prepared for the impacts of climate change, embeds a comprehensive, just and inclusive delivery plan in UK policy, and one that can support efforts to ‘build back better,’ encouraging investment in the technologies, such as carbon capture and storage and hydrogen, and resource efficient business models.
The letter concludes:
“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 and look forward to continuing to work with you to develop a more prosperous, inclusive and resilient UK economy.”