Over one hundred business leaders urge PM to show stronger commitment to green economy

Thu 27 July 2023 View all news

Leaders of over 100 prominent businesses have called on the Prime Minister to urge the Government to offer leadership and a stronger commitment on net zero and the wider green economy.

Partners in the Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity (CUSP), working with the Aldersgate Group, coordinated the cross-business letter highlighting their support for the UK’s climate commitments and the net zero transition—regarded as a massive economic opportunity and crucial for long-term prosperity and for the health of the planet. 

With signatories include Tesco, BT, M&S, Unilever and Amazon, the letter reiterates strong business consensus on the need for faster political action on climate change mitigation and the need for a policy landscape to support this consensus.

“This is the economic opportunity of the 21st century”, the letter reads, “and we are concerned that without a renewed focus and commitment to delivery from the Government, the UK will be left behind. We are ready to invest, but we need your leadership and commitment to the green economy—now, more than ever.”

Meanwhile, an array of leading scientists have commented on the recent record global temperatures, wildfires and extreme weather events.

James Hansen, who testified to Congress on global warming in 1988, says world is approaching a ‘new climate frontier’. He said (reported by The Guardian) that the world is shifting towards a superheated climate not seen in the past million years, prior to human existence, because “we are damned fools” for not acting upon warnings over the climate crisis.

He said: “There’s a lot more in the pipeline, unless we reduce the greenhouse gas amounts. These superstorms are a taste of the storms of my grandchildren. We are headed wittingly into the new reality – we knew it was coming.”

In the UK, leading climate scientist Professor Sir Bob Watson told the BBC that he is "pessimistic" that the 1.5C 'safe' target for global heating will be achieved.

His comments were supported by Lord Stern, Chairman of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.

He said (the BBC reports): "I think 1.5 is probably out of reach even if we accelerate quickly now, but we could bring it back if we start to bring down the cost of negative emissions and get better at negative emissions. Negative emissions means direct air capture of carbon dioxide."

A spokesperson for the Government said in response to Lord Stern's remarks: "The UK is a world-leader on net zero, cutting emissions faster than any other G7 country and has attracted billions of investment into renewables, which now account for 40% of our electricity."

However, Lord Deben - outgoing Chair of the Climate Change Committee and a former Conservative environment minister - said the Government was "entirely wrong". He said that other countries like the US and China were moving much faster, and that the UK is failing to set an example for the World.



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