Business leaders call on EU for effective and coherent leadership on climate and net zero transition

12 07 2021 | 13:57

In an open letter to Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and further key EU policymakers, CLG Europe members and business network partners, are calling on the EU to seize this opportunity and demonstrate leadership in the run up to the COP26 summit.

Ahead of the release of the Fit for 55 legislative package of the European Commission, the letter signed by 11 leading businesses and nine European and global business networks, states: “As business leaders with a stake in the EU, we see a once in a lifetime opportunity to deliver the transition to a net zero economy, as the world invests in the post- covid-19 recovery and as the world’s biggest economies, corporations and investors themselves commit to a race to zero.

The letter underlines that “it is clear that the Green Deal and the EU’s growth strategy are one and the same, and that the upcoming ‘Fit for 55%’ package of climate legislation can provide the engine for that strategy.

Eliot Whittington, Director, CLG Europe said: “This letter shows the deep support from major European businesses for a “Fit for 55 package” that lives up to its name. To win the race to a zero carbon economy and safeguard a stable climate for EU citizens we need to be fit for 55 per cent reductions or more, modernising our economy and seizing the opportunities that come with new industries and markets. The letter sets out ten critical elements that can deliver effective change and allow the EU to set the mould that shapes global progress.”

Signatories set out 10 principles for EU leaders to deliver an effective package of climate and energy laws that can act as the beating heart of the Green Deal:

  • Provide policy certainty for business
  • Send a strong signal that Europe’s economic recovery will be achieved through climate action
  • Plan for potential ambition increases beyond 55%
  • Ensure coherence across European policy - from finance to industrial, circular, digital, employment and nature
  • Accelerate the transition of our energy systems
  • Deliver on energy efficiency and the decarbonization of sectors such as the built environment
  • Balance increasing carbon pricing signals with focussed regulatory action
  • Align fiscal levers to support the net zero transition
  • Develop and deliver an effective strategy to ensure competitiveness for current and future industries in a net zero world
  • Support demand as well as supply, by stimulating and enlarging markets for climate neutral goods and services

The business letter follows the success of the 2030 CEO letter coordinated by CLG Europe that was signed by over 220 business, business and investment networks and urged the EU to raise EU 2030 GHG emissions targets to at least 55 per cent in September 2020.

Alan Jope, CEO, Unilever said: “Together, we have committed to build a growing, inclusive, net-zero economy. This can only be delivered in partnership - with ambitious climate action from business matched by ambitious public policy frameworks.”

Jesper Brodin, CEO, Ingka Group | IKEA said: “It is encouraging to see the EU take the next step in making the EU Green Deal work for both people and planet. The upcoming “Fit for 55%” package of climate legislation can turn commitments into action and make a real difference in the transition to a net-zero future.”

The letter will stay open for signatures until 14 July, you can sign here.



7 July 2021

Climate Action