‘The benefits are significant’: Businesses call on Tory leadership candidates to back net-zero

Business groups representing thousands of businesses including Amazon, Unilever, Coca-Cola and Scottish Power have penned a joint letter to Tory leadership candidates, imploring them to step up efforts towards net-zero and to help combat the energy cost crisis.

‘The benefits are significant’: Businesses call on Tory leadership candidates to back net-zero

As more Tory MPs continue to throw their names into the hat and announce official leadership bids, the UK’s business community has written to politicians calling on them to favour the net-zero movement in a bid to spur job growth and combat rising energy prices.

The businesses have been convened through numerous corporate collectives including the UK Corporate Leaders Group (CLG UK), Business in the Community (BITC), UK Green Building Council, Food and Drink Federation, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and RenewableUK.

The businesses are urging prospective Conservative Party leadership candidates to commit to clean energy and nature restoration through manifestos.

Coordinated by the UK Business Group Alliance for Net Zero (BGA) and CLG UK, the letter notes the importance of the clean energy transition in improving energy security and helping households combat the cost of living crisis.

The letter states: “We urge prospective candidates (and their supporters) for the Conservative Party Leadership to implement your party’s manifesto commitments to reach net zero emissions by 2050 and restore nature within a generation.

“We have seen first-hand that investment in low carbon infrastructure and technologies delivers huge economic benefits. Supportive policy measures bring down the costs of clean technology, enabling businesses to capitalise on growing global markets. The benefits are significant. From job creation, increased exports, and geographically dispersed growth to inward investment and improved air quality from clean energy. Important contributors to levelling up opportunity across the UK.”

With Prime Minister Boris Johnson having announced his resignation, media outlets and polling sites have been quick to name the frontrunners that could become the new leader of the Conservative Party.

Unfortunately, many have been quick to distance themselves from the net-zero movement, with some such as Kemi Badenoch hinting that they would ease legislation on carbon management to help boost the economy. You can read a round-up of all their candidates and their approach to green legislation here.

The joint letter is quick to point out that since the Government’s 10 Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution was introduced, more than 56,000 new jobs have been created. There is scope for an additional 440,000 jobs to be created through the Net-Zero Strategy.

CLG UK’s director Eliot Whittington said: “The Conservative Party has a significant track record of climate leadership. Their new leader will have a choice between building on this track record and delivering for the UK economy and society or abandoning it and condemning the country to fall behind on the energy transition and face unnecessary costs and risks.

“Forward-looking businesses want more, not less, ambition on climate action, especially as we see the ramifications of volatile fossil fuel supply chains ramping up the cost-of-living crisis and reducing regional energy security. The next Prime Minister must centre climate policy and continue delivery of net-zero and regenerating the UK’s nature.”

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