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 , expected on 14 July, 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.
CLG Europe sets 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
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.”
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.
The letter will stay open for signatures until 14 July and companies can join via this form.
Quotes from the signatories
Ignacio S. Galán, Chairman, Iberdrola said: “Europe´s leadership on climate action will be enhanced with a robust and coherent “Fit for 55%” policy package, which can create optimism for the whole world. The correct policy signals will give investors the certainty needed to accelerate the transition towards a net zero economy, by unlocking significant investment in renewable energy, networks, storage and forward looking industries, such as green hydrogen. Ambitious climate policies will also drive the economic recovery.”
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.”
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.”
Gavin Patterson, President & Chief Revenue Officer, Salesforce said: “Salesforce welcomes climate legislation that is science-based and facilitates a just transition to a 1.5°C future. The Fit for 55 package must bring together Europe’s climate ambition and growth strategy to enable economic resilience and create a more equal society, while putting us on the necessary pathway to net zero.”
Eric Rondolat, CEO, Signify said: “Climate action and economic prosperity go hand-in-hand. Europe’s recovery needs to be underpinned by investment in clean technologies. This is why the “Fit for 55%” by 2030 package is so important. It will accelerate the deployment of innovative technologies – like connected LED lighting – that reduce carbon emissions, create jobs and create a cleaner healthier environment for people.”
Nick Molho, Executive Director, Aldersgate Group said: “The Fit for 55% package must include the concrete policy action that will set Europe on course for 55% reductions in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, and have the flexibility for increased ambition as new technologies are added to our climate toolkit. The Commission has the opportunity to show that climate action is our route back from the pandemic, creating a strong signal for the necessary investments into decarbonisation and climate adaptation. This will be vital to achieving net zero by 2050 and delivering a sustainable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic for Europe.”
Ana Struna Bregar, CEO, CER – Sustainable Business Network Slovenia said: “Slovenian businesses recognise the economic benefits of increased climate action. They are already developing solutions and stand ready to increase investments to make the Fit for 55 Package a success. To fully tap into this potential, the package itself must provide a predictable and future proof framework fit to scale up clean economy markets and innovation at EU and national level. The Slovenian Presidency will be a crucial period to lay the ground for this framework for the benefit of economy, citizens and the environment.”
Mirjam Wolfrum, Director Policy Engagement, CDP Europe said: “CDP Europe welcomes the EU’s Fit-For-55 package of policy revisions needed to deliver the EU’s net target of at least 55% emissions reductions by 2030. To make European industry and business ‘trailblazers’, the European Commission must devise a clear and harmonised set of policies which drive European companies to reduce their emissions line with the 1.5°C pathway using science-based targets.”
Sabine Nallinger, Managing Director, Stiftung 2 Grad said: “The success of the EU Green Deal will depend on bold political leadership. If Germany wants to become carbon neutral by 2045, the next federal government needs to push for an ambitious EU implementation package allowing to finance the transformation of the real economy, also in the buildings and transport sector.”
Halla Tomasdottir, CEO & Chief Change Catalyst, The B Team said: “I welcome the ‘Fit for 55’ package as a stepping stone to aligning EU climate commitments with a 1.5 °C degree pathway. I now call upon the EU to show further bold leadership by putting just transition at the heart of the post pandemic economic recovery.”
Maria Mendiluce, CEO, We Mean Business Coalition said: “We must go all in for halving emissions by 2030. Europe needs a clear and ambitious policy framework to deliver climate action at this speed and scale. Over 325 European businesses are committed to a 1.5ºC trajectory. Removing coal from EU operations, going all in on electric vehicles, mandatory climate disclosure and meaningful carbon pricing will help Europe be Fit for 55% and will also fit business plans.”