206 multinational and national companies and investors in the UK have signed a letter that calls on the British government to deliver a sustainable coronavirus recovery program.
Interestingly, signatories even include high-emissions companies such as BP and Heathrow Airport. Others that signed include Lloyds Bank, Sky, BT, and E.ON. The initiative was coordinated by The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group (CLG).
You can read the letter in full here, but here’s an excerpt:
With the UK facing major economic and social concerns including the risk of high unemployment and rising regional inequality, we believe that an ambitious low carbon growth and environmental improvement agenda can do a lot to address these concerns, as well as make the UK economy better prepared to deal with future shocks such as those related to climate change.
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. 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 British government is expected to prioritize a green energy package, and the letter urges it to publish a detailed plan — a “clear vision.”
In early May, more than 90 multinationals made a similar call in France. And later in May, as Electrek reported, a group of more than 150 companies worth a combined $2.4 trillion called for global governments’ recovery plans from the COVID-19 pandemic to prioritize green economies. Two-thirds of the companies that signed the statement are headquartered in Europe.
Of course we are encouraged to see a growing chorus of voices from the corporate world calling for sustainable recovery plans. It’s interesting that the private sector is holding the public sector accountable. It’s not that long ago that this would not even have been on the radar of a company like Lloyds, much less BP.
But these calls and sustainable recovery plans are focused mainly in Europe, and the real muscle needs to be exercised in China and the US, two of the biggest emitters — and neither have a green recovery plan.
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