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Climate Group backs united call from UK, France and Germany for EU to move to 30% emissions cut to drive green jobs and growth

Date
15 July 2010
Climate Group backs united call from UK, France and Germany for EU to move to 30% emissions cut to drive green jobs and growth

The Climate Group today backed a new push by climate change ministers in the UK, France and Germany to persuade Europe to cut its emissions by 30% by 2020.

In an article published in the Financial Times, Le Monde and Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung today, the countries’ climate change ministers Chris Huhne, Jean-Louis Borloo and Dr Norbert Röttgen set out the economic benefits for increasing Europe’s climate change targets.  The current European target is for the EU to cut emissions by 20% from 1990 levels by 2020.

The article argues that a higher level of ambition is required to stimulate vital business investment at the scale required to decarbonise the economy: “It will be overwhelmingly the private sector that will deliver the investment which will build our low-carbon future and moving to 30% will provide greater certainty and predictability for investors”.

The three ministers agreed that a policy for moving to 30% would not act as a brake on the EU economy but would boost jobs and help Europe stay competitive as India, China, Japan and the US challenge its market share of 22% of the global low carbon goods and services sector. They said: “It is a policy for jobs and growth, energy security, and climate risk. Most of all, it is a policy for Europe’s future.”

Chris Huhne, UK Energy and Climate Secretary said: “We’re determined to make the economic case for the EU to cut its emissions by 30% by 2020 as quickly as possible. Moving to a low carbon economy can help deliver energy security and contribute to economic recovery. The current 20% target is not sufficient to encourage companies to make the necessary investment in green technologies and green jobs. The ‘wait and see’ policy of sticking to 20% risks putting Europe in the global slow lane of maximising low carbon economic opportunities.”

Mark Kenber, International Policy Director, The Climate Group said: "European companies across a range of sectors recognise that ambitious EU climate policy is the key to unlocking the innovation and investment needed to strengthen Europe's competitiveness and create new jobs. The UK and other forward-looking governments are right in their conviction that moving to 30% is not just important for the environment; it is essential for the long-term health of European business.

Last month, The Climate Group, The Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change and WWF Climate Savers Programme delivered a published a joint declaration – Joint Business Declaration on Increasing Europe’s Climate Ambition – to EU institutions and ministers asserting that it is in Europe’s economic and strategic self-interest to advance its ambition on climate change beyond its current 20% greenhouse gas emissions reduction target.

Collectively, these three business leaders groups jointly represent companies providing 20 million jobs and over US$ 11 trillion in market capitalization. Already 13 member companies have put their names to the joint declaration including: Acciona, BNP Paribas, Barilla, Crédit Agricole, Elopak, F&C Asset Management, Johnson Controls Inc, Google, Marks and Spencer, Nike, Philips, Sony Europe, Swiss Re. 

Read the full article on the DECC website here

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