Senior leaders of major companies including Shell, Unilever, BT, EDF Energy, Kingfisher, Anglian Water, and Lloyds Banking Group have written to David Cameron urging him to follow the advice of the Committee on Climate Change and maintain the UK’s fourth carbon budget at its current level.
The letter, co-ordinated by The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group, is a warning from companies that further delay or confusion over the Government’s commitment would increase the cost of doing business and undermine investment and job creation.
It concludes: “We stand ready to support efforts by the Government to ensure that the UK is able to deliver a prosperous, low-carbon economy and to demonstrate the international leadership required to deliver effective action in Europe and globally, thus ensuring a level playing field for business.”
Read the letter (pdf).
Read the press release (pdf)
Members of the Corporate Leaders Group and ClimateWise signed the Aldersgate Group co-ordinated letter to the Financial Times warning of an increased frequency in UK flooding due to climate change. The business signatories, which together have a combined turnover of nearly £200 billion, are calling for a cross-party political response to address the causes of climate.
Read the letter in the FT (£).
The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group, together with the Aldersgate Group and E3G wrote to the Prime Minister in November 2013 calling for ambitious initiatives on green growth to be put at the heart of EU-China discussions.
The three organisations set out the critical opportunity to align European and Chinese interests on the green economy, and develop a new approach to the EU-China relationship which maximises mutual opportunities and better manages trade pressures.
The Prime Minister responded, recognising the organisations’ extremely useful work with UK Government departments to raise the issues and opportunities represented by green growth. He also noted that the organisations’ comments had been taken on board in preparation for the EU-China Summit and were reflected in the resultant EU-China 2020 Strategic Agenda for Co-operation.
A group of leading businesses including Unilever, Skanska, BT, Acciona, Shell, Philips, Lloyds, and Kingfisher today welcomed the European Commission's White Paper on its 2030 Climate and Energy package, which proposes a target of 40% domestic reductions in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, but warned that current proposals must not be watered down any further.
Download the press release (pdf).
UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Ed Davey. Photo copyright Dave Radcliffe / Liberal Democrats
On 13 January 2013 the UK CLG had a positive meeting with the UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Ed Davey. The group expressed their support for the UK retaining its current level of ambition on climate change, and continuing to show leadership in the EU and internationally.
The Secretary of State welcomed the group’s role in helping communicate the business case and economic benefits of action on climate change. He urged them to help tell the low carbon investment story for the UK and the value of EU-wide action. Specific topics discussed included ETS reform, international co-operation and the UK’s Fourth Carbon Budget review.
Members of The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group (CLG) have been responding to the IPCC report since its release on 27 September, urging government and business into action to reduce carbon emissions and increase resilience.
Carmen Becerril, Chief International Officer for Acciona, said in the FT that the report showed, “a comprehensive, effective and ambitious global response must be agreed at the UN climate change meeting in Paris in 2015”.
Andy Brown, Chief Sustainability Officer for Anglian Water, stated on CNN that the CLG supports the findings of the report and that business needs to tackle climate change and ensure it is resilient to its impacts.
Hubert Patricot, Executive Vice President and President Coca-Cola Enterprises, reiterated that, “this report highlights the reality of climate change to all business” and the need for “government and business to work together to mobilize a concerted and coordinated response to address the most significant environmental issue of our time”.
Nicolette Bartlett from the CLG stated on Al Jazeera that business recognises the important message this report delivers and highlights the need to act now.
Ian Cheshire, Kingfisher’s Group Chief Executive said on EurActiv: “As companies, consumers, and citizens, we all face significant potential risks from the changing climate, which we must work together to address. This calls for leadership, vision and cooperation. We hope that the UK and other European governments will continue to demonstrate their commitment to developing a new, competitive low-carbon economy.”
Business leaders from across the EU are urging immediate action from governments, businesses and society to reduce carbon emissions and increase resilience in response to the first part of the 5th report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), released today. The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group (CLG) responded to the report of the 1st working group of the IPCC, which reveals the strongest consensus yet amongst scientists that human activities are the main cause of warming since the 1950s. The report confirms a clear warming trend that is still apparent.
Download the press release (pdf)
Understanding the UN Climate Science Reports
Senior leaders from the UK and EU Corporate Leaders Groups met for dinner with HRH The Prince of Wales on 4 June. The meeting confirmed the potential and continued need for a small but effective group of leaders to create and sustain the momentum for an effective dialogue on building a low carbon economy. HRH The Prince of Wales pushed the group to continue its high-level work with policymakers and was pleased to hear the enthusiasm of the CLG members to continue to make the case for green growth and jobs.
Jake Reynolds (Director, Business and Policy Leaders Groups, CPSL), Gavin Neath (Senior Vice President, Unilever) and Graham Van’t Hoff (Chairman, Shell UK) at the launch of the UK CLG report, Seize the Day: A Call to Action for UK Climate Leadership , 29 June 2011
The UK CLG brings together some of the UK’s largest businesses from across sectors to articulate their belief that there is an urgent need to develop new and longer term policies for tackling climate change as a strategic objective for UK plc.
The group has been one of the most consistent and outspoken voices in support of strong, pro-business policies on climate change. Its activities and achievements range from coming forward in support of a strong EU ETS and bold targets in an open letter to the Prime Minister in 2006, to developing and delivering The Copenhagen Communiqué on Climate Change in 2009, which saw over 950 global companies from 60 countries endorse the statement developed by the group, calling for an ambitious, legally binding and robust deal at COP-15.
The UK CLG was convened in 2004, having been developed by alumni of The Prince of Wales’s Business & Sustainability Programme (BSP), and is managed by CPSL.
The current Chair of the UK CLG is Mr Ian Cheshire, Group Chief Executive, Kingfisher plc.
Download the UK Corporate Leaders Group membership brochure.
The current Chair of the UK CLG is Mr Ian Cheshire, Group Chief Executive, Kingfisher plc.
The group was started in 2005 with CEOs of prominent UK businesses who were concerned about some of the messages that were coming from the business world with regards to action on climate change. The membership continues to be a cross-sector representation of a progressive business voice.
The first output from the group was a letter to then Prime Minister Tony Blair, immediately in advance of the G8 Gleneagles Summit (2005). The members have since proposed to work in partnership to help move UK climate change policy forward.
The following are highlights of some of the key moments of impact.
The Prince of Wales’s UK Corporate Leaders Group has written to the British Prime Minster David Cameron urging him to end the uncertainty around future UK energy policy. Eight leading UK chief executives of companies including Unilever, Kingfisher, EDF Energy and Doosan Power have signed the letter that argues that "attempts to set a strong economy at odds with effective policies on climate change are self-defeating". The businesses endorse the Committee on Climate Change's recommendation of a decarbonisation target for the power sector by 2030.
Read the letter.
Rt Hon Vince Cable MP (Secretary of State, BIS) and Lord Sainsbury (Chancellor, University of Cambridge)
The UK Corporate Leaders Group co-hosted with the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) a very successful launch of three new Joint Public–Private Low Carbon Procurement Compacts at the Royal Society.
The event launched the low carbon procurement Compacts in three different areas: transport, catering and biomethane. Each has major potential to drive real change in the market, with an increase in affordable and cutting-edge low to zero carbon solutions at a scale to drive down emissions in these areas.
We were delighted to have Lord Sainsbury (Chancellor, University of Cambridge) chair a panel discussion with Rt Hon Vince Cable MP (Secretary of State, BIS), Neil Carson (CEO, Johnson Matthey), Peter Simpson (CEO, Anglian Water Services) and Martin Chown (Executive Director of Government Procurement Services). The launch was attended by over 100 people from key government departments, leading private sector companies, public bodies, potential suppliers, and the media.
Lord Sainsbury stressed that this was the beginning of an important dialogue with suppliers. Business Secretary Vince Cable said the initiative would promote more effective supply chain engagement and signal future demand for low carbon innovation, giving a timely boost to UK plc:
More information on the Compacts and how you can get involved.
Photos of the event are live on BIS’s flickr feed.
The Prince of Wales’s UK Corporate Leaders Group has written to the Chancellor, George Osborne, calling on him to clearly set out support for the low carbon economy in the upcoming Budget Statement.
The letter asks the Chancellor to use this budget to establish a clear and simple policy framework to encourage low carbon investment, including ensuring that the government adequately funds and supports priorities such as the Green Deal, the Green Investment Bank, and demonstration of Carbon Capture and Storage technology. It also urges the Chancellor to work with his counterparts across Europe to secure reform of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme, as an urgent priority for the UK.
Eliot Whittington, Director of the UK Corporate Leaders Group, said:
Download the letter.
The UK CLG launched a new report into Government policy on Wednesday 29 June 2011, calling for stronger action on climate leadership.
Chris Huhne, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, attended the event to respond to the statement and discuss the group's messages with key business leaders – including the new Chairman of Shell UK, Graham van't Hoff, and Senior Vice President of Unilever, Gavin Neath.
Read the full speech given to the UK CLG by the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change on The Economics of Climate Change, 29 June 2011.
Download the press release.
The UK CLG welcomed the decision made by the government to set a fourth carbon budget in line with the expert advice from the Committee on Climate Change. Business welcomes the certainty that comes with setting a clear trajectory for carbon emissions through the 2020s, and also applauds the clear commitment from the UK government to secure comparable action in Europe and globally. UK CLG members are keen to work with the government to make sure the UK has the right policies in place to meet its climate targets.
The UK CLG wrote a letter to Prime Minister David Cameron in support of the Committee on Climate Change’s fourth carbon budget and reiterated the group's longstanding support for clear action on climate change, based on the science. The UK CLG support the Committee on Climate Change’s call for steady progress towards that goal along a clear trajectory, and would welcome the adoption of a strong fourth carbon budget consistent with a 2030 milestone of at least 60% reductions, and with the proposals in the EU Low Carbon Roadmap.
Read the full text of the letter.
St. James’s Palace ‘Deal or No Deal’ event including Connie Hedegaard, Lord Nicholas Stern and Richard Kinley
On 14 July 2010, the CLG was delighted to bring together over 200 senior and influential business leaders, policymakers and civil society representatives at the impactful, ‘Deal or No Deal?’ event at St James’s Palace. The day included an inspirational call to action from HRH The Prince of Wales, as well as galvanising and significant contributions from EU Commissioner for Climate Action Connie Hedegaard, Lord Nicholas Stern (author of The Stern Review on Climate Change) and Richard Kinley, Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC. The main aim of the event was to reinvigorate the movement for an international deal within the international business community and the feedback on the day suggests a great success.
In March, the UK CLG met with the Conservative Party’s lead spokesmen on climate change, Greg Clark (the shadow Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change) and Greg Barker (Shadow Environment Minister). They discussed the CLG’s views on the comprehensive package of policies that are needed to shift to a low-carbon economy. This was the first of a series of meetings that the group will be involved in the political parties, to ensure that the UK is able move to low-climate risk economy.
In January 2009, the UK CLG met with Prime Minister Gordon Brown to discuss how action on climate change will help stimulate economic activity and job creation It discussed potential new policies for stimulating investment in low carbon production and employment. The Corporate Leaders Group also committed to work in partnership with the Government to help secure a strong and effective international framework to tackle climate change.
Polly Courtice, Director of CPSL and members of UK CLG meeting Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the US House of Representatives
In June 2007, members of the UK CLG met with Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the US House of Representatives to discuss the group’s experience of climate change policies. The CLG leaders delivered a strong message to the US congressional committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming in Washington DC. The group surprised many US commentators by calling for long-term legal frameworks to tackle climate change at a time when ‘regulation’ was seen as anti-competitive, and made an important contribution to the rapidly changing debate on climate change in the US.
In June 2006 the CLG wrote a second letter to the Prime Minister, offering further support that the UK Government should take ambitious action to stimulate investment in low carbon technology and should use the negotiations of the next round of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) as an opportunity to take on challenging targets. In late 2006 and 2007 the UK Government announced plans for a Climate Change Bill that would set a long term framework for action relating to climate change. The UK CLG was instrumental in enabling this legislation to progress.
Read the full text of the 2006 letter.
Since 2007 the UK and EU CLGs have created Communiqués which set out the business case for an ambitious, robust, effective and equitable UN climate framework and offers a progressive global consensus on the shape of an agreement.
The Carbon Price Communiqué (2012) made the case for setting a price on carbon emissions as one of the main building blocks of an effective and ambitious climate change policy framework.
Read The Carbon Price Communiqué.
The 2°C Challenge Communiqué (2011) called on governments to break the deadlock in the international negotiations and take action at a national level to ensure a successful transition to green growth and a climate resilient economy.
Read The 2°C Challenge Communiqué.
The Cancun Communiqué on Climate Change (2010) made it clear that the case for a comprehensive international framework to tackle climate change still stood after Copenhagen, and that the need for action was increasingly urgent. The signatories urged governments to redouble their efforts to achieve this framework and also to take necessary and appropriate mitigation actions in parallel with such efforts.
Read The Cancun Communiqué.
The Copenhagen Communiqué on Climate Change (2009) was signed by over 950 companies from 60 countries including the US, EU, Japan, Australia, Canada, Brazil, Argentina, Russia, India, China, Korea and South Africa; ranging from the world’s largest companies and best known brands, to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Read The Copenhagen Communiqué.
The Poznań Communiqué (2008) was launched by the CLG ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference in Poznań, Poland. The Poznań Communiqué set out the key elements of an international deal on climate change and was endorsed by the business leaders of over 140 companies worldwide.
Read The Poznań Communiqué.
The Bali Communiqué (2007) was published by the CLG to governments gathering at the UN Climate Change Conference in Bali. CEOs from over 140 global companies signed The Bali Communiqué and it was published in a centre-page spread in the Financial Times and International Herald Tribune on the eve of the conference. It was an unprecedented move by business and received significant worldwide media attention.
Read The Bali Communiqué
The UK CLG and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) have joined forces to bring together major public and private sector customers in Procurement Compacts for new, 'low to zero carbon' goods and services. These Compacts demonstrate to potential suppliers that there is a substantial and organised market demand for cost-effective, low carbon transport and catering, and for heat and power from renewable biomethane. By sending a clear direction of travel message to suppliers and by demonstrating real demand, this joint public–private sector initiative aims to create market opportunities for innovating companies and help to generate growth and jobs in the low carbon economy.
Download Down to Zero, the full prospectus detailing the Procurement Compacts.
This report, by The Prince of Wales's EU Corporate Leaders Group, demonstrates how the activities of some of the world’s largest companies are contributing to the delivery of a low climate risk economy. Profiles and examples of the activities and climate projects are given for each of the member CLG companies featured, including their carbon reduction goals and how these are being met.
Download a copy of the report.
On 29 June 2011, the UK CLG launched a new report into Government policy, calling for stronger action on climate leadership. Seize the Day reflects the member companies' belief that the UK Government has set the right goals for the economy, but must dramatically step up action to deliver these goals.
Download a copy of the report.
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