As usual, big business appears to be pulling the climate strings at the EU in favour of softening renewable and emissions targets.
However, some of the more progressive businesses are maintaining pressure on the commission to keep a 40% emissions reduction by 2030, which they say, and I agree, is a bare minimum requirement.
Below is a letter from CPSL and EUCLG to support the challenge, and I’ve copied the text at the bottom just in case you can’t read on your device.
A group of leading businesses including Unilever, Skanska, BT, Acciona, EDF Energy, Shell, Philips, Lloyds, and Kingfisher today welcomed the European Commission’s White Paper on its 2030 Climate and Energy package, which proposes a target of 40% domestic reductions in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, but warned that current proposals must not be watered down any further.
The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group said that a 40% reduction in European emissions by 2030 was the minimum necessary to ensure the region maintained its climate leadership role in the run up to the critical UN climate meeting in Paris in 2015.
Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever said: “A 40% target is a minimum level of ambition if we are to tackle climate change and deliver sustainable growth in the long term. We hope that other countries will follow Europe’s lead in developing their own ambitious targets.”
The companies also welcomed ETS reform and the binding EU-wide renewables target of 27%, which will support and encourage business investment while allowing member states flexibility on how to deliver.
Carmen Becerril, Chief International Officer at Acciona said: “Only by setting a clear direction on GHG emissions reductions and renewables can Europe attempt to keep its share of the global low carbon and environmental business market. We do however need to be even more ambitious if Europe is to trigger a clean energy revolution.”
The Corporate Leaders Group members regretted the absence of a stronger policy framework around energy efficiency.
Noel Morrin, Senior Vice President, Sustainability & Green Support at Swedish construction and property developer Skanska said: “We are concerned that without binding energy efficiency targets the 2030 package will not provide the long term signal needed for continued investments. The emissions reduction target should be complemented by a clear signal on energy efficiency to ensure markets get to where we need to be in 2050.”
The Commission White Paper released today is the beginning of a EU process that will see Member States and Parliament review the targets ahead of final agreement in March.