Climate Action

Business groups call on UK Government for an ambitious NDC that aligns with net zero target

A number of organisations have written to the Prime Minister to urge him to announce an ambitious Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) for the UK.

  • 03 November 2020
  • Rachel Cooper

A number of organisations including The Aldersgate Group, the Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group and the Institutional Investors’ Group on Climate Change - have written to the Prime Minister to urge him to announce an ambitious Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) for the UK to mark the upcoming five year of the Paris Agreement and create a positive negotiation dynamic ahead of the crucial COP26 climate summit.

The groups argue that an ambitious NDC, which will set the UK’s emission reduction commitments for 2030 under the Paris Agreement, should be at least in line with the UK’s existing net zero emissions reduction target and consistent with forthcoming advice from the Committee on Climate Change.

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. […]."

The groups recommend that the UK’s updated NDC should be:

  • Aligned with business targets: Many businesses 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.
  • Embedded in UK policy: The NDC should be supported by a comprehensive policy delivery plan to put the UK on a credible pathway to achieve its net zero emissions target, accelerate innovation, grow domestic supply chains and strengthen the UK’s export capabilities in the global low carbon economy [2].
  • Supported by solid plans and ambitions to ensure the UK is well prepared for the impacts of climate change: A more ambitious NDC and plan to achieve the UK’s net zero target should work hand in hand with efforts to ensure the UK is well prepared to adapt to the increasing impacts from climate change. As made clear by the Aldersgate Group previously, this will require careful co-ordination with upcoming targets and policy measures to be introduced in other key areas of policy such as the Environment Bill, the Agriculture Bill and the Planning White Paper.

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."

Nick Molho, Executive Director of the Aldersgate Group, said: “With stronger climate commitments coming from countries with a large share of global emissions such as Japan, China and the EU, this is a critical time for the UK to set out a more ambitious NDC that is in line with its domestic net zero target and the Committee on Climate Change’s advice. Backed by a credible policy plan, this will allow the UK to create a positive negotiation dynamic and maximise its influence ahead of the COP26 climate summit, whilst giving itself the best chances of building a competitive, net zero emissions economy.”

Read the letter in full here.