TOP BRITISH FIRMS TO PM: STEP UP CLIMATE CHANGE FIGHT AND BUILD GREEN ECOMONY
80 UK businesses including Willmott Dixon, Cisco, E.on, John Lewis, SSE, and BT have called on the new government to take decisive action to combat climate change and build a low-carbon economy.
An open letter from the firms to Prime Minister David Cameron and published in today’s Financial Times calls on the new administration to:
* Seek a strong global climate deal in Paris in December which limits temperature rises to below 2°C.
* Set an ambitious 5th carbon budget to drive forward UK emissions reductions (covering period 2028-32).
* Establish a long-term framework for investment in the low-carbon economy, giving industry much-needed clarity over what is expected in terms of low-carbon development, and boost the confidence of green investors.
Other signatories include Dong Energy, Johnson & Starley, Trillion Fund, Infinergy, ARUP and Instagroup.
WWF-UK is leading calls for a new approach to governance that places low-carbon growth and the responsible management of natural capital at the heart of economic policy. WWF-UK Chief Executive David Nussbaum said:
“British business shows it is ready to step up. From construction and energy to retail, the best British enterprises know that green growth is the future. They take on board that it’s no longer credible to base a sustainable economy on fossil fuels, so the Government should put us on track for a low-carbon world.”
“As we approach international climate talks, Britain should be a global champion for change, but a lack of consistent long-term policies sends a confusing message to business and undermines our attractiveness to investors. The Prime Minister should send a clear message that the only way forward is a green economy, and provide greater support to forward-looking firms that want to build a clean economy.”
Failure to reduce emissions could burden businesses with shortages of water and raw materials as the planet heats up. And the costs of dealing with extreme weather and global instability could run into the hundreds of billions. But clearer long-term incentives for investment in renewable and efficient technologies and practices would pay dividends in terms of new jobs and international trade, while reducing the impact of climate change.
Alistair Phillips Davies, Chief Executive of SSE said:
“As one of the UK’s largest investors in low carbon energy, SSE has long argued for a strong international carbon framework that can provide the right signals for efficient investment.”
Julia Groves, chief executive of Trillion Fund, a renewable energy crowdfunding platform, said:
“Protecting the pound in people’s pockets is not at odds with supporting low carbon energy generation. Peer-to-peer lending and the maturity of energy generation technologies have come together to create an exciting opportunity for ordinary people looking for a decent return and potentially, to offer cheaper bills for locals too. Regular lenders and investors can sit alongside the Green Investment Bank, pension funds, private equity and banks as direct stakeholders in a clean future, and with the right support, this model can drive competition in energy and in finance, for people, planet and profit.”