Bosses from more than 50 companies, investment firms and business networks have called on the EU to prioritise tackling climate change.
In an open letter written to politicians, multinational firms such as Unilever, IKEA and DSM say they want to see the establishment of a decarbonisation strategy to achieve climate neutrality by 2050.
They suggest this is necessary to provide businesses with the confidence needed to invest in sustainable, net zero industries of the future.
Signatories from across the automotive, energy, retail, chemicals, steel, engineering, insurance, farming and food and drink sectors collectively represent more than 1.5 million employees from across Europe.
Action to overcome global warming seems to be at a tipping point – the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) says the UK Government should be put on a ‘war footing’ against climate change and today the Welsh Government has officially declared a climate emergency.
The letter reads: “Every year more of us are setting science-based targets for our companies’ emissions, we are purchasing clean energy and signing up to renewable energy commitments, using low emission and electric vehicles, converting land to carbon sinks and improving energy efficiency throughout our operations.
“We are doing this because we see the threat that climate change poses to our businesses. The impacts of climate change are already affecting our bottom lines: degrading worker health and productivity, disrupting our operations and supply chains, and damaging assets. A clear, coherent vision from European governments and institutions for climate neutrality by 2050 at the latest will give businesses like ours the long-term guidance we need to invest.”
CEO of Unilever, Alan Jope said: “Businesses have a responsibility to take action that will help address climate change, and many of us are already doing so.
“But we need to accelerate progress. A European strategy to deliver Net Zero Emissions by 2050 is essential to signal the direction and speed of travel that is necessary to achieve the 1.5 degree ambition set out in the Paris Agreement.”
Earlier this year thousands of Amazon workers signed a letter to CEO Jeff Bezos and the Amazon Board of Directors calling for more action from the company on climate change.