In an open letter, CEOs from across the economy have offered support to the Government in tackling the present health crisis, and urged Prime Minister Boris Johnson to provide clear vision for recovery efforts that align with the UK's wider social, environmental and climate goals.
The letter, signed by 206 businesses, investors and business networks, states: ‘With the UK facing major economic and social concerns including the risk of high unemployment and rising regional inequality, we believe that an ambitious low carbon growth and environmental improvement agenda can do a lot to address these concerns, as well as make the UK economy better prepared to deal with future shocks such as those related to climate change.
‘[...] The current crisis, in moving us all away from business-as-usual, has already created shifts in how we operate, and we believe we must use the recovery to accelerate the transition to net zero. Efforts to rescue and repair the economy in response to the current crisis can and should be aligned with the UK's legislated target of net zero emissions by 2050 at the latest.’
The signatories come from both multi-national and national businesses, across industry sectors, including energy, finance, consumer goods, retail, construction, water and communication.
The business and investment networks supporting this initiative include The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group (CLG), the Aldersgate Group, the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC), Business in the Community (BITC), the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC) and the Climate Group.
Together they have called on the UK to deliver a clean, just recovery, that creates quality employment and builds a more sustainable, inclusive and resilient UK economy for the future with a plan that can:
Drive investment in low carbon innovation, infrastructure and industries, as well as improved resilience to future environmental risks;
Focus support on sectors and activities that can best support sustainable growth, increased job creation and accelerate both the recovery and the decarbonisation of the economy;
Include within financial support packages measures to ensure receiving businesses are well managed and their strategies are science based and aligned with national climate goals.
The signatories acknowledge the climate leadership of the UK and call for continued ambition to drive action towards next year's COP26 summit and the G7, which will both be hosted in the UK.