Greenwise Staff 13th October 2010
UK companies, including Centrica, Kingfisher, Marks & Spencers and BSkyB, have put their names to a business declaration calling for Europe to cut its emissions by 30 per cent by 2020.
The joint business declaration, published today, is the first time such a large number of businesses have called on the European Union (EU) to increase its target to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 30 per cent by 2020 from 1990 levels. The declaration has been signed due to businesses’ growing concern that Europe will be unable to remain competitive in the growing global market for low carbon goods and services without a tougher carbon policy. Currently, the EU has set a target to cut GHG emissions by 20 per cent from 1990 levels by 2020.
The joint declaration proposes that an increased emissions target will boost economic growth and create jobs. Entitled 'Increasing Europe’s Climate Ambition will be Good for the EU Economy and Jobs’, it states "there is no high carbon low cost future for Europe".
It says the EU must invest in low carbon technologies now to ensure energy security for the future and to avoid high carbon "lock-in". It says the recession has made emissions cuts easier and cheaper, but market incentives will be the only way to ensure action going forward.
The global low carbon goods and services market is already worth over £3 trillion and Europe’s share of that market is 22 per cent. It is a market that is expected to grow by four per cent a year over the next five years and signatories of the declaration say a move to a 30 per cent cut in emissions would ensure Europe stayed competitive with countries such as China and the US.
The declaration follows a letter jointly signed by three European climate change ministers – the UK’s Chris Huhne, France’s Jean-Louis Borloo, Germany’s Dr Norbert Röttgen – in the summer. It also called for an increase in the EU emissions target to 30 per cent.
Today's joint business declaration was organised by The Climate Group, The Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership, and WWF Climate Savers Programme. It has been sent to the European Commission, Council, Parliament and Presidency ahead of an EU Environment Council meeting discussing the EU’s climate reduction target.
Companies supporting the joint business declaration include Acciona, Alstom, Asda, Atkins, Barilla, BNP Paribas, BSkyB, Capgemini, Centrica plc, Climate Change Capital, Crédit Agricole, DHV Group, Elopak, Eneco, F&C Asset Management, GE Energy, Johnson Controls Inc, Kingfisher, Google, Marks and Spencer, Nike, Philips Lighting, SKAI Group of Companies, Sony Europe, Standard Life, Swiss Re, Tryg, Thames Water and Vodafone.
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