Coca-Cola demands 2050 net zero emissions target

Coca-Cola is among a group of companies that have written to UK prime minister Theresa May demanding the government set a net zero emissions target for 2050 at the latest.

The signatories, including Unilever and Thames Water, said the target is needed to plan emission reductions that minimise business disruption, boost innovation and attract “the industries of the future”.

Along with tackling climate change, the group said that setting a 2050 net zero emissions target would help businesses grasp the “tremendous opportunities” of shifting to a low-carbon economy.

“As business leaders, we understand that stretching goals bring challenges but that the transition to a climate-safe world with net zero emissions is necessary, and that human ingenuity can achieve wonders,” the letter says.

“When the government sets clear long-term goals, businesses can work to deliver higher ambition and ensure we are planning for long-term success.”

The call for action comes 10 years after the UK introduced the world’s first law to cut greenhouse gas emissions – the Climate Change Act – with emissions falling by over 40% in the country since.

The economy has grown by approximately 70% during that time, with the letter acknowledging the prime minister’s “personal commitment” to tackling climate change.

However, it also highlights a report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which shows that the world is set for a temperature rise of 3˚C above pre-industrial levels.

The UK government has since asked the Committee on Climate Change for advice on setting a net zero emissions target, which the signatories welcomed, arguing that advanced economies should be responsible for setting such goals.

Coordinated by the Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leader Group, the group said: “By choosing to set climate targets in line with the latest science, we will show commitment to a safe, prosperous future for all.

“Innovation and collaboration can bring down the costs of action, and ensure the UK retains its role as a leader on climate change – we would welcome the chance to discuss this with you and thank you for your consideration.”


Image credit | iStock
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