EU urged to agree ‘robust 2030 climate goals’

Tesco, Kingfisher and Shell are among a group of big businesses and environmental organisations that are pushing EU leaders to lay out a clear 2030 energy and climate policy framework.

In an open letter, the Prince of Wales’ Corporate Leaders Group (CLG), with the support of 57 companies representing 4.5m employees, has stated that ‘each [company] acknowledges responsibility for a sustainable economic future for Europe’.

It follows an announcement in March that the EU was to put off making a decision on the Europe’s 2030 climate and energy policy package until October. Back in January, EU Commissioners established the EU 2030 energy and climate framework whitepaper announcing targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and renewables generation but left out an energy efficiency target.

Delayed action

The letter, which was sent to the European Council on 6 October, reads: “Timely decisions about the cornerstones of EU’s energy and climate policies beyond 2020 will substantially support confidence for the important investments.

“We would like to contribute towards a modern, resource-efficient and low carbon growth as a central driver for Europe’s economic recovery and competitiveness agenda, energy security aims, and delivering sustainable growth and job creation for decades to come.

“We remain increasingly concerned at the costs, risks and impacts associated with delayed action on climate change on our markets, supply chains, resource costs and upon society as a whole.”

The letter stresses that a timely decision by Heads of State and Government is critical. “We… urge you to agree at the European Council on 23rd and 24th October 2014, a robust 2030 energy and climate policy framework and energy security strategy that…can deliver a global climate change agreement at the 2015 Paris CoP [UN Climate Change Conference].”

Clear policy

Commenting on the letter, Prince of Wales’ CLG director Sandrine Dixson-Decleve said: “Decisions taken in the climate and energy policy space have an enormous impact on sustainable investments. Our members are increasingly concerned about the potential cost and risk associated with delayed action. Lack of clear policy will have a negative impact on supply chains, resource availability, and society as a whole.”

Earlier this week EU energy and environment ministers gathered in Milan to discuss energy efficiency targets as part of a broader package of climate and energy goals for 2030 that currently includes boosting renewables to a 27% share of the market and cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 40%.

The companies involved are as follows: 3M, Acciona, Águas de Portugal, Aldersgate Group, Alstom, Barilla, BDEW, Bilfinger Power Systems, BWE, Carbon Capture and Storage Association, CEZ, Climate Change Capital, Climate Markets & Investment Association, Coca-Cola Enterprises, Dansk Energi, Dong Energy, Doosan Power, DSM, Electricité de France, Ecover, Eneco, E.On, Eurogas, EURELECTRIC, EUGINE, EUTurbines, EnBW, Energie Nederland, EnergiNorge, Ferrovial, Fortum, GDF Suez, General Electric, Gorenje Surovina, GSK, Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change, IKEA Group, Interface, International Emissions Trading Association, Kingfisher, Mirova, Novo Nordisk, Novozymes, Philips, Shell, Skanska, SSE, Statkraft, STF, SWM, Tesco, The Climate Group, The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group, Unilever, Vattenfall, VELUX Group, VERBUND.

Lois Vallely

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