Businesses call for tougher climate targets

Sensemaking / Businesses call for tougher climate targets

21 Jan 2011

Europe needs tougher targets to stay competitive, say companies

Some of Europe’s largest corporations, including Acciona, Google, Marks & Spencer and Nike, have called on the EU to set tougher climate targets.

They want Europe to agree to cut emissions by 30% by 2020 (from a 1990 baseline), rather than the present target of 20%.

The move comes against a background of growing impatience among leading businesses with governments’ failure to set clear policy signals on climate.

Drawn up by members of the Climate Group, Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership, and WWF Climate Savers Programme, the declaration calls on the EU to invest in energy security, and green technology and infrastructure. It warns that Europe risks losing out to China and the US in the race to exploit the growth potential of a low carbon economy.

Previously, the consensus among most companies was expressed by Business Europe, a collection of 40 business federations across the EU. “We do need to bring the low-carbon agenda forward,” says Director General, Philippe de Buck. But he adds: “Rather than focusing the discussion on new emission reduction targets, the European Commission should work on encouraging the development and deployment of low-carbon technologies.”

The fact that a significant number of major companies are now breaking with that consensus represents a real shift, says Luc Bas, Director of European Programmes at The Climate Group.

- Flemmich Webb

Image credits:Petrovich9 / istock

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