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Climate Action

Over 70 businesses urge UK PM to set strong climate targets for 2030

77 businesses including Tesco, BT, Coca-Cola, and Sky are calling on Boris Johnson to announce a substantial emissions reduction commitment.

  • 02 December 2020
  • Madeline Watkiss

77 businesses including Tesco, BT, Coca-Cola, and Sky are calling on Boris Johnson to announce a substantial emissions reduction commitment.

In the run up to the fifth anniversary of the Paris Agreement on climate change, a letter to the UK Prime Minister from 77 businesses highlighted the urgent needs for the Government to set out an ambitious emissions target for 2030, ahead of a special global climate summit on December 12.

The call is supported by new modelling which indicates that the Ten Point Plan for a green recovery, recently announced by the UK Government, is not sufficient to deliver net zero by 2050.

The letter states “As we stand a year away from the COP26 Climate Summit, 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 hosts of the postponed United Nations COP26, the UK is being urged to lead the way for other nations to deliver similarly ambitious emissions targets to ensure global temperature rises stay well below 2°C and that efforts are pursued to limit it to 1.5°C.

A new briefing from The Prince of Wales Corporate Leaders Group (CLG), supported by modelling from Cambridge Econometrics, indicates the Ten Point Plan puts the UK on track to meet its existing 2030 target but it’s not in line with its net zero target.

The plan is predicted to grow GDP by up to an additional 1.8 percent by 2030, while achieving a reduction in emissions of nearly 60 percent on 1990 levels. This would rise to nearly 70 percent by 2035.

The model suggests an ambitious new UK NDC (Nationally Determined Contribution) 2030 reduction target of at least 70 percent based on 1990 levels, supported by Long-Term strategy. 

The letter from business leaders to the Prime Minister outlines its support for an emissions pledge that is aligned with business targets, setting out clear ambitions for resilience, embedded in UK policy and supportive of the UK building back better.

Significantly the letter was signed by a number of SMEs whose voices are vital to push an acceleration of Government measures providing policy certainty that will lead to action and investment. 

The letter concludes by saying “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.”

Read the letter here.