UK Government announced as International Ambassador for EV100 initiative
The UK Government has been named as the first government to act as an ambassador for the Climate Group's EV100 initiative to spur electric vehicle (EV) uptake, on the same day that global pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca joined the initiative.
As an International Ambassador, the UK Government will actively encourage large UK businesses to switch to electric vehicles and use its international network of embassies to call for the same across the world.
Energy and Clean Growth Minister Chris Skidmore said: “Cleaning up our transport system is one of the biggest challenges we face in tackling climate change so it’s essential we do everything we can to encourage all sectors of society to rise to the challenge.
“As the first G7 country to legislate to end our contribution to global warming entirely by 2050, I am proud the UK is leading the world again in promoting this important initiative, encouraging businesses to make electric vehicles the new normal.”
The UK’s net-zero law will require radical decarbonisation in areas such as the built environment and transport. The Road to Zero strategy sets out how the Government intends to phase out the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2040, highlighting low-carbon fuels and hybrid vehicles as solutions to bridge the transition in the meantime.
However, critics have argued that the deadline should be brought forward and the Government is yet to confirm whether it will accept the Committee on Climate Change’s recommendations to do so.
The Climate Group’s chief executive Helen Clarkson added: “I am delighted that the UK Government shares our belief that large businesses moving to zero-emission vehicles must be the norm, not the exception.
“Companies have the responsibility to make good choices about the types of cars they buy and subsidise for their employees - and there are major business benefits from going electric too. With the support of the whole government in the UK and abroad, we can help make the case to many more CEOs that they need to act faster.”
The news was announced alongside pharmaceutical firm’s AstraZeneca agreement to join the EV100. Headquartered in Cambridge, UK, with major corporate sites in the US and Sweden, is the first pharmaceutical company to join the EV100.
As part of the commitment, AstraZeneca will expand the charging infrastructure at its office sites. The company expects the switch to EVs to save it more than 80,000 metric tonnes of CO2 annually from 2030.
AstraZeneca’s EVP for sustainability and chief compliance officer Katarina Ageborg, said: “Recognising the link between a healthy environment and human health, we believe that by investing in electric vehicles and emissions-reduction initiatives, we can help reduce the burden of respiratory diseases and other air pollution-related conditions. Environmental stewardship will prevent disease as well as protect the planet for future generations.
“Sustainable business is about addressing the impact of our activities on both the planet and on people’s health and this needs to be a joint effort. We should all work together in partnership on climate action.”
AstraZeneca is the 50th business to join the EV100 initiative. As a result, companies representing $900bn in annual turnover and accounting for 2.8 million employees are now covered by the EV100 and are pushing to transition towards electric fleets.