Thousands of business leaders urge Government for greater climate action

Today (3 October), Chris Skidmore will hand-deliver a letter signed by more than 1800 industry professionals urging the Government to take greater action on climate change and commit to a clear climate action plan that can deliver long-term security and certainty for UK businesses.

Thousands of business leaders urge Government for greater climate action

The letter calls on the Government to pledge to invest in renewables, take action to protect and restore nature, and end new fossil fuel developments in the UK.

This comes after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s recent climate policy rollback and the Government’s subsequent approval of the controversial Rosebank oil and gas project in the North Sea, with a capacity to produce 69,000 barrels of oil and 44 million cubic feet of gas per day.

The letter will be handed to Rt Hon Chris Skidmore by Ben Tolhurst, director of Business Declares, which will then be passed on to the key cabinet members at the Conservative Party Conference, taking place in Manchester this week.

The key signatories and supporters include former boss of Unilever’s ex-chief executive officer Paul Polman, Deborah Meaden, Triodos Bank UK’s chief executive officer Dr Bevis Watts, Ecotricity’s chief co-founder Dale Vince, COOK’s chief executive officer Rosie Brown, Save our Wild Isles Films, and TV personality Chris Packham.

The number of signatures increased six-fold since the green policies push-back, underscoring the growing concerns over the Government’s attitudes towards climate change and environmental policy within the business community.

This letter builds on a range of industry voices including the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and the Aldersgate Group, as well as those calling for positive change in the world of politics, such as the Environment Audit Committee and the APPGs for Net-Zero and Climate Change.

Queue for Climate and Nature

Moreover, the letter further strengthens the momentum built by the Queue for ‘Climate and Nature’, where some 300 professionals queued to sign a declaration sent to all major British political parties.

The edie editorial team attended the Queue to capture the views of those taking part in a series of videos.

At the Queue, Tolhurst told edie that policymakers need to hear strong calls for more joined-up and ambitious green policymaking at this time.

He said: “I fully understand how businesspeople feel nervous about speaking out in case they get in trouble with their bosses, or in case their company’s brands are not happy.

“But, at the end of the day, we are in an existential crisis. We have lost 50% of our nature and biodiversity just in the time I have been alive. We’ve just issued 100 new fossil fuel licences when all of the received wisdom says ‘do not burn any more fossil fuels’.

“It is time to be bold. It is time to be courageous. It is time to put the awkwardness away and speak out because, if not now – when?”

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