Business groups representing thousands of UK businesses, including Lloyds Banking Group, Amazon, Unilever, Coca-Cola, Signify, Scottish Power and Thames Water are calling on Tory leadership candidates to accelerate the clean energy transition and keep up UK progress on climate change.
In an open letter, business groups urged prospective Conservative Party leadership candidates to implement manifesto commitments on net zero and nature restoration. The groups, representing businesses across all sectors of the UK economy, are calling for an ambitious focus on the delivery of solutions to the climate and nature crises, to give business the confidence to invest.
The letter states: ‘ […] we urge prospective candidates (and their supporters) for the Conservative Party Leadership to implement your party’s manifesto commitments to reach net zero emissions by 2050 and restore nature within a generation.
‘We have seen first-hand that investment in low carbon infrastructure and technologies delivers huge economic benefits. Supportive policy measures bring down the costs of clean technology, enabling businesses to capitalise on growing global markets. The benefits are significant. From job creation, increased exports, and geographically dispersed growth to inward investment and improved air quality from clean energy. Important contributors to levelling up opportunity across the UK.’
The letter also focusses on the importance of the clean energy transition in shoring up energy security and helping households with the cost-of-living crisis. The letter was coordinated by the UK Business Group Alliance for Net Zero (BGA) led by Cambridge University’s pro-climate business group CLG UK.
Eliot Whittington, Director, CLG UK said: “The Conservative Party has a significant track record of climate leadership. Their new leader will have a choice between building on this track record and delivering for the UK economy and society or abandoning it and condemning the country to fall behind on the energy transition and face unnecessary costs and risks. Forward looking businesses want more, not less, ambition on climate action, especially as we see the ramifications of volatile fossil fuel supply chains ramping up the cost-of-living crisis and reducing regional energy security. The next Prime Minister must centre climate policy and continue delivery of net zero and regenerating the UK’s nature.”
The letter also highlights the 56,000 new jobs created in clean industries in the 20 months since the government’s 10 Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution, and the scope for an additional 440,000 jobs from the Net Zero Strategy released last year.