Business leaders urge EU to adopt 2050 net zero emissions target

Coca-Cola, Tesco, Unilever and Sky are among a group of businesses that have today urged EU ministers to support plans for a net zero emissions economy by 2050.

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The Prince of Wales's Corporate Leaders Group (CLG) said in a statement that the target is needed to ensure Europe’s competitiveness and provide long-term certainty for businesses.

Proposed in the EU Commission’s long-term vision last year, a net zero emissions goal by 2050 “at the latest” would also help drive innovation and growth, the business leaders said.

This comes ahead of a meeting on EU competitiveness in Brussels, with ministers for trade, industry, research and innovation from all member states expected to discuss the commission’s vision.

“An EU-wide strategy for carbon neutrality can unleash the innovation and investment needed to ensure European companies are best positioned to grow and prosper in a future economy that is good for the planet, people and business,” CLG director, Eliot Whittington, said.

The call comes on the same day that ministers from Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Sweden and the UK all expressed their support for the 2050 target.

These 10 ministers were holding a meeting today in Brussels to discuss the goal, which the EU Commission estimates could increase GDP by 2% in 2050 if achieved.

Net zero emissions by midway of the century is also expected to result in 2.1 million additional jobs, while the bill for fossil fuel imports in Europe would drop by over 70%.

Moreover, it is estimated that achieving the target could cut the health costs associated with air pollution from fine particulate matter by approximately €200bn (£175bn) every year.

 “There is growing awareness among Europe’s political and business leaders that the much-needed shift to a net zero emission economy is an opportunity to strengthen competitiveness,” Climate Action Network Europe director, Wendel Trio, said.

“Reducing emissions to net zero, preferably by 2040, and scaling up emission cuts by 2030, will help the European industry to become a leader in an increasingly important global market that will trigger massive investments in the coming decades.”

 

Image credit: Shutterstock

Author: 

Chris Seekings is a reporter for TRANSFORM

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