Climate Action

Over 200 British firms urge government to align economic recovery with net zero goal

206 major firms have written to the government urging for an economic recovery plan that prioritises climate action.

  • 02 June 2020
  • Joana Costa Figueira

206 major firms have written to the government urging for an economic recovery plan that prioritises climate action.

More than 200 leading UK companies, investors and organisations have called for a green coronavirus recovery plan in an open letter to the UK Government.

The letter urges the government to build “a more inclusive, stronger and more resilient” path towards building a net zero emission economy in the wake of the impending recession.

Big names such as Mitsubishi, Coca-Cola, BT, BNP Paribas, HSBC, IKEA, Lloyds Banking Group, National Grid, E.ON, PwC, Severn Trent, Sky, Unilever, Siemens, and Britvic have signed in support.

Other notable signatories include Environment Agency chair Emma Howard-Boyd, as well as a number of firms working in carbon-intensive sectors such as BP, cement producer CEMEX, Heathrow Airport and Shell.

It is spearheaded by several major business groups, including the Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group (CLG), Business in the Community (BITC), the Climate Group, the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC), and the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC).

It specifically highlights building renovation, offshore wind, electric vehicles, and low carbon industrial clusters as areas which “have the potential to bring investment and job creation across multiple regions in the UK.”

Earlier last week, Britain’s gas networks asked the government for funding for a net zero infrastructure plan that would put the UK on track to meet its 2050 targets.

“The current crisis, in moving us all away from business-as-usual, has already created shifts in how we operate, and we believe we must use the recovery to accelerate the transition to net zero,” the letter states.

“Efforts to rescue and repair the economy in response to the current crisis can and should be aligned with the UK’s legislated target of net zero emissions by 2050 at the latest.”

The letter ends by highlighting the UKs need to demonstrate its international leadership with regards to climate change as it gets ready to host next year’s critical COP26 Climate Summit and the 2021 G7 Summit, both of which are set to take place on UK soil.

Eliot Whittington, Director of The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group, said: “The UK needs a strong, sustainable economy able to withstand future shocks.” “The evidence is clear that a clean, resilient recovery is best for jobs, business, society, and our environment."

To read the letter click here.