More than 150 business leaders and investors urge EU heads of state to set higher 2030 emissions reduction targets

As the European Commission sits down to discuss proposals for a new 2030 emissions target in time for the State of the Union address tomorrow (Wednesday Sept 16), more than 150 European businesses, investors and business networks, including Microsoft, IKEA, Deutsche Bank, Unilever, H&M, Google, EDF, Signify and Apple are calling on EU leaders to back the ambition set out in the European Green Deal and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030.

In an open letter, CEOs from across Europe and the economy have outlined their determination to work with the EU to tackle impacts of the Coronavirus pandemic while delivering a more climate-resilient and regenerative recovery. The letter indicates the diversity of European business support for increased climate ambition, with companies from sectors including, manufacturing, heavy industry, finance, consumer goods, power generation and technology supporting the 55% target.

Signed by 157 businesses and investors, and 21 business networks, the letter states: "What we urgently need to see next is an ambitious implementation of the recovery package focussed on achieving a green and digital transition, with the European Green Deal at its core and an elevated short-term emissions reduction target in its sights.

"The right decisions now can help create and protect healthy, thriving and fair communities and secure a roadmap for a prosperous economy. From a business and investor perspective, clarity on the net zero transition pathway and timetables for each sector, as well as policy that enables substantial investments in carbon neutral solutions is essential. This in turn would provide us with the confidence needed to invest decisively at the necessary pace and scale to reduce emissions, create decent green jobs, drive innovation, and accelerate the rebuilding of a resilient zero carbon economy."

The initiative is led by the European Corporate Leaders Group (CLG Europe), a cross-sectoral group of European businesses working towards delivering climate neutrality.

It was delivered in partnership with Business Ambition for 1.5C ,the We Mean Business coalition which includes BSR, The B Team, CDP,  CLG EuropeCeresWBCSD, The Climate Group and its RE100 & EV100 networks, as well as with the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC). There was additional support from European business and investment networks including BCSD Portugal, the Centre of Energy Efficiency Solutions (Slovenia), the European Alliance for Green Recovery, EU-ASE, EURIMA, EIIF, EHPA, The Aldersgate Group (UK), The Haga Initiative (Sweden), Skift Business Climate Leaders, the Solar Impulse Foundation, The Spanish Green Growth Group (Spain) and Wind Europe.   

Together, ahead of Commission President Ursula von der Leyen State of the Union 2020 speech, and in the run up to Climate Week in New York, the signatories are urging European leaders to avoid the worst effects of climate change and secure a sustainable, competitive economic recovery by:

  • endorsing the ambition set out in the European Green Deal
  • submitting resilient recovery plans which enable the green investments needed to deliver climate neutrality
  • agreeing a clearly defined target to reduce domestic greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030 and associated objectives.

Christian Sewing, CEO, Deutsche Bank AG: “Banks play a crucial role in this ambitious transformation. We can and must help companies to do business more sustainably. But we need the EU to pave the way by providing common standards.”

Casper Klynge, Vice President European Government Affairs, Microsoft: “As we work together to achieve a green recovery from COVID-19, we have an unprecedented opportunity to act on climate change and gain momentum on our path towards carbon neutrality in Europe. Setting clear and ambitious targets is necessary to reach net zero. All of us – businesses and governments – can take actions that are good for growth, jobs and the economy, as well as for the planet.”

Helena Helmersson, CEO H&M Group: “We are committed to take responsibility to reach our climate positive ambition and contribute to ambitious global emission reduction targets. We need to take responsibility of our future together, and now companies and governments have to collaborate closer than ever before. Transparency and circularity must be the core of the leadership we need in the transition to a fossil free economy.” 

Jesper Brodin, CEO, Ingka Group / IKEA Retail: “The time for talk is over. We need to act, and we need to act now to accelerate climate action and limit global warming to below 1.5°C. IKEA is committed to become climate positive by 2030 and we ask governments to do the same. Stepping up their ambition and increasing the EU’s GHG emission reduction target for 2030 is essential in order to ensure a future that is climate neutral.” 

Lisa Jackson, Vice President of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives, Apple: “The choice between a healthy planet and good business strategy has always been a false one, and we’ve proved that with a company that runs on 100% clean energy and a supply chain transitioning to do the same. As Apple works towards 100% carbon neutral products and a carbon neutral supply chain by 2030, we’ll continue to call for the strong global targets we need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect this planet for future generations.” 

Jean-Bernard Levy, Chairman and CEO, EDF: “I support a 2030 ambition for Europe of at least 55% reduction in CO2 emissions. A cost-effective electrification of the European economy, furthering the use of low carbon electricity and innovative solutions in transport, housing and industrial processes, is not only what is right for the climate, but is also a matter of industrial policy and energy security. EDF’s electricity production in Europe is already more than 90% low-carbon today and EDF will continue to be a key player of this breakthrough in the next decade.” 

Eric Rondolat, CEO & Chairman, Signify: “We can’t afford not to take bold climate action – it’s needed and it’s needed now. Consider this: if we achieve an increase in 3% energy efficiency a year, driven by a similar 3% in renovation rates, and 3% increase in the use of renewables per year, then a carbon neutral world by 2050 is in reach. Crucially this requires an interim target of at least 55% GHG reduction in 2030, which also equally distributes the workload between the current and the future generation who have to make this a reality.” 

Matt Brittin, President, EMEA Business & Operations, Google: “We’re proud to support the EC's ambitious goal to make Europe the world’s first carbon-neutral continent. At Google, our goal is to run our global operations on carbon-free energy 24/7 and we aim to get there by 2030.  We’re also committed to playing our part by supporting strong policy action and helping others take climate action with technology and tools for a carbon free future.”

Eliot Whittington, Director, CLG Europe: “European businesses and investors know that the only viable economic future that can deliver prosperity and wellbeing is one that stabilises the climate. They are standing up and standing together to call on the EU to ensure its near-term emissions targets get the continent on track to reduce the worst impacts of climate change and deliver net zero by 2050. We must learn from the pandemic that putting in place resilient and socially just economic systems is vital and that building back better must be at the core of the EU's recovery package."

María Mendiluce, CEO, We Mean Business coalition: "Leading companies believe that it is crucial for the EU to reduce its emissions by at least 55% by 2030 and to be net-zero by 2050. Ambitious climate policies give businesses the clarity and confidence they need to accelerate their investments and transition to the zero-carbon economy. An ambitious climate target will create jobs and drive economic growth."

The letter will be highlighted in a high level virtual event organised by the UN’s Race to Zero on the opening day of New York Climate Week on September 21. The Race to Zero campaign — the largest alliance ever committed to net zero — aims to build momentum around the shift to a decarbonised economy ahead of COP26, where governments must strengthen their contributions to the Paris Agreement.

Nigel Topping, High Level Climate Champion for the United Kingdom: “Today’s letter demonstrates that EU businesses are serious about working together with the EU to support a race to zero emissions over the next decade. These businesses are already transforming their operations, but clarity on the pathway for each sector will provide the confidence needed to invest decisively at the necessary pace and scale to reduce emissions, create decent green jobs, drive innovation, and accelerate the rebuilding of a resilient zero carbon economy.”

The full letter text, further quotes and the signatories list can be found below: 

  • A link to the letter can be found here
  • A background annex to the letter can be found here

Dear Heads of State and Government, European Commissioners,

As business leaders and investors across Europe, we are determined to work with you to confront the health and economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, while setting out the framework for a more climate resilient and regenerative recovery that can build back better. 

The agreement reached at the July European Council is a significant milestone. What we urgently need to see next is an ambitious implementation of the recovery package focused on achieving a green and digital transition, with the European Green Deal at its core and an elevated short-term emissions reduction target in its sights. This implies both a ‘green stimulus’ of public spending and investment, and market signals to incentivise private investment and steer it towards green outcomes. 

The right decisions now can help create and protect healthy, thriving and fair communities and secure a roadmap for a prosperous economy. Delivering Europe’s long-term ambition to become the first climate neutral continent by 2050 requires an extensive set of urgent measures to scale up action. From a business and investor perspective, clarity on the net zero transition pathway and timetables for each sector, as well as policy that enables substantial investments in carbon neutral solutions is essential. This in turn would provide us with the confidence needed to invest decisively at the necessary pace and scale to reduce emissions, create decent green jobs, drive innovation, and accelerate the rebuilding of a resilient zero carbon economy.  

The increased ambition for 2030 should also be expressed in an increased EU Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) released in time to submit to the UNFCCC before the end of 2020. The leadership shown by the EU, including continued commitment to the Paris Agreement, updating its NDC to the highest possible levels and striving to limit warming to 1.5 degrees, can serve to encourage other countries to do the same. This can contribute to an ambitious global regime, rather than a fragmented policy landscape that hinders investment and delivery of the solutions we need.  

We understand the risks posed by climate change and biodiversity loss to our businesses and are already working to unlock change in key economic sectors. Investors, banks and insurers are working to transition portfolios to net zero emissions. More than 900 companies are taking science-based climate action and more than 400 have approved science-based targets. We are investing heavily in clean energy, energy efficiency and electrification, lowering emissions across value chains and the lifecycle of our products, and developing better practices in the bioeconomy. 

At the same time we are acutely aware of the potential social impacts that can come with economic transition and we hope to work alongside policymakers to support a well-thought-through strategy centred on fair and respectful treatment of workers and communities, that can offer longer-term opportunities and jobs in the new economy. Building back a stronger economy and society now sustains not just this generation but those to come, giving our children and grandchildren the chance to live well and safely. 

Research shows that investment in decarbonisation is good for the economy, society and the climate. Policies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions can ensure a more resilient and sustainable labour market, deliver higher short-term returns per Euro spent, and lead to increased long-term cost savings compared with traditional fiscal stimulus. This is also essential to repay the new debt the EU is accruing. 

The EU has already shown leadership, demonstrating how policy certainty around climate action can drive innovation and investment. A forward-looking approach is now needed that supports investment in people and regions, encourages the development of clean technologies and incentivises demand for low carbon goods and services. We as European business leaders and investors would like to underline that it is exactly these green technologies that will drive Europe’s competitiveness in the world. 

We hope you will prioritise the actions needed to support a safe and prosperous EU now and in the future. We look to you to show leadership. The time for climate action is now. 

Additional business quotes

Jonas Samuelson, President & CEO, AB Electrolux: "Climate change remains one of the most urgent challenges for society and we all need to accelerate our actions to reach the 1.5 degree ambition set up in the Paris Agreement. Electrolux is committed to become climate neutral in operations by 2030 and across our value chain by 2050. We encourage EU heads to sharpen emissions reduction targets and deliver on the EU ambition to become climate neutral by 2050."

Giuseppe Gola, CEO, ACEA Group: “We firmly believe that the fight against climate change is fundamental for the future of all of us and that Europe and companies must demonstrate the greatest possible commitment. Acea, an Italian important multi-utility, has been responding to the CDP – Climate questionnaire since 2006, through which it demonstrates, in particular, its initiatives to reduce GHG emissions, and in 2020 has undertaken an even more challenging path to align itself with the TCFD recommendations." 

Yves Perrier, CEO, Amundi: “Europe must continue to show leadership in building a resilient and inclusive economy. Success in the implementation of the EU Green recovery plan and a clear, ambitious and integrated climate policy framework, in line with the Paris agreement commitments, are critical factors of capital mobilization.”

Peter Simpson, CEO, Anglian Water Group: “The progress we’ve made at Anglian Water on cutting carbon, creating renewable energy and securing green finance is already driving huge environmental and social benefits. But reaching net zero by 2030 – our shared water industry goal – will take leadership and the shifting of frontiers of performance."

Patrick Mathieu, President & CEO, Armacell said: “We fully support higher climate goals and emissions reduction targets for 2030. Armacell’s DNA is energy conservation and hence a reduction of the global carbon footprint.”

Philippe Donnet, CEO, Assicurazioni Generali: “Generali shares the sense of urgency on the climate crisis. An increase of the EU GHG emissions reduction target for 2030 is about accelerating the implementation of the Paris agreement and leading by example.” 

Cees 't Hart, CEO, Carlsberg Group: “We encourage ambitious climate action as part of the EU recovery package to drive action towards the Paris agreement from companies and civil society as a whole. Carlsberg is working towards the Science Based Targets outlined in our Sustainability Programme Together Towards ZERO and I am certain that if we all work together in partnership, we can ensure the transition to a resilient, low-carbon world."

Massimo di Tria, CIO, Cattolica Assicurazioni: “Emission reduction and green recovery cannot be further postponed. The time for climate action is now. The way forward is together.”

Gareth Mostyn, CEO, Church Commissioners for England: “The Church Commissioners are committed to transitioning our portfolio to net zero GHG emissions by 2050.  We look to policy makers to put in place measures which enable changes in the real economy, which can help to drive this transition and the investment needed to support it.  An enhanced EU 2030 target would both steer the policy framework, and drive the economic transformations needed globally."

Damian Gammell, CEO, Coca-Cola European Partners: “Climate change is the world’s most urgent environmental challenge, and we must transition towards a climate neutral and sustainable economy. We support the EU’s ambition to reach net zero emissions by 2050 and set a clearly defined target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030. At Coca-Cola European Partners, we’ve halved GHG emissions since 2010 and moved to 100% renewable electricity. We’ve set science-based carbon reduction targets and will continue to invest to decarbonize our business. We know there is much more we can do, and we want to see business and governments come together to build back better from the impact of COVID-19 and support the transition towards a climate neutral and sustainable economy.”

Isaac Navarro Cabeza, CEO, Contazara, S.A.: “CONTAZARA is committed with the EU GHG emissions reduction for 2030 by means of water, energy and raw materials efficiency and using clean energy at 100% and low carbon technologies. It is time for action now.”  

Mareschi Danieli, CEO, Danieli & C. Officine Meccaniche SpA: “Danieli is fully committed to the development of new technologies to achieve a substantial reduction in GHG emissions for the steel industry in line with the 2030 target; this is the route to follow in order to produce real Green Steel for use in a sustainable industry on worldwide basis.”

Timotheus Höttges, CEO, Deutsche Telekom AG: “Deutsche Telekom supports an ambitious target of reducing CO2 emissions in the EU by at least 55% until 2030. What matters most, is getting it done. Therefore, we are dedicated to reducing our impact on the environment as well as that of our customers. By 2030, we will reduce our own CO2 emissions footprint by 90% and by 25% per customer for all value chain emissions compared to 2017.” 

Michael Zahn, CEO, Deutsche Wohnen SE: “The Earth's atmosphere has only a limited capacity to absorb GHG emissions before the tipping points are exceeded. Taking note of this, we must now take our climate objectives seriously and do everything possible to reduce greenhouse gases. The building sector has a special responsibility, and we as a company want to live up to it.”

Bart Van Muylder, CEO, Diepensteyn NV: “Turn this crisis into an opportunity and ACT NOW!”

Miguel Stilwell de Andrade, Interim CEO, EDP: “Climate science and civil society are in total agreement - we need faster action on climate change starting from now. The regulatory direction set by the EU has delivered huge growth in areas like renewable energy and we must keep up the policy momentum if we want to see similar changes in areas like transport, heat and heavy industry. We’ll support policymakers every step of the way to a Net Zero world by 2050.”

Ângelo Ramalho, CEO, Efacec Power Solutions: “Efacec welcomes the increased EU GHG emissions reduction target to 55% (2030) and is totally committed to enable a Net Zero Future.” 

Kees-Jan Rameau, Chief Strategic Growth Officer, Eneco: “The challenges posed by the economic impacts of COVID-19 require that EU leaders adopt robust policies that help to accelerate investments in the green transition, including offshore wind, the electrification of industry and zero-emission vehicles. We are ready to invest in green growth.”

Francesco Starace, CEO Enel: “Enel co-signs the CEO letter to raise the EU 2030 GHG emissions reduction target to at least 55%, along with supporting an ambitious implementation of the Recovery Plan, needed to foster the green and digital transition, while underpinning sustainable economic growth and job creation."

John Keppler, Chairman and CEO, Enviva: “There is no way to achieve ‘Net Zero’ carbon reductions and effectively address climate change without a radical rethink on how we utilize and leverage bioenergy. Enviva fully supports efforts to increase 2030 emissions reduction targets and firmly believes that sustainably sourced wood biomass is a critical pathway to achieving this goal. Increasing 2030 emissions targets is an important component of the ambitious and aggressive actions we must take if we plan to succeed in eliminating additional carbon emissions from entering the environment by 2050.”

Luca Bettonte, CEO, ERG Spa: "It is important that European countries, institutions and companies show leadership and indicate a clear, ambitious pathway to help the European economy recover from the shock of the COVID-19 pandemic and prepare it for future challenges such as the climate crisis. Renewable energy companies will play a vital role in any just transition to a cleaner economy."

Christoph Klein, Managing Partner, ESG Portfolio Management GmbH: “If we do not reduce global warming soon, company profits will become meaningless.”

Donald Hopper, Co-Founder & CEO, EVA Global: “EVA Global fully supports the call for reducing GHG emissions by at least 55% by 2030. As the leading Managed Services and Customer Experience Provider in eMobility, our focus naturally lies with transport electrification for a sustainable future. This will be achieved through innovation by stakeholders as well as more ambitious climate targets. EVA Global wholeheartedly defends the need to increase climate protection ambitions at the EU level whilst continuing to support innovation for a cleaner future.”

Kristof Vereenooghe, CEO, EVBox Group: “We are determined to lead the race to zero-emissions and count on European political leadership to also rise up to the challenge.”

Gianfranco Battisti, CEO and General Manager, Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane: “I committed in 2019 to take a leading role in the actions to prevent climate change and I pledged in 2019 that FS Italiane will be carbon neutral by 2050 and reduce emissions by 55% in 2030 vs 1990. Even though rail is the most emission efficient transport mode, as a major company, we engage ourselves to further improve.”

Jamie Reigle, CEO, Formula E Holding: “The ABB FIA Formula E Championship fully supports the UN’s 2030 Race to Zero targets to reduce emissions. We remain focused on reducing our own carbon footprint and aligning our emissions to climate science by 2030. We believe in the power of working together to create better futures for generations to come.”

Markus Rauramo, President and CEO, Fortum Corporation: “At Fortum, we find it important and necessary to tighten the 2030 climate target to at least 55% for Europe to reach carbon neutrality by mid-century. We believe that the reinforced and extended emissions trading system would be the best tool for pursuing the goal, while costly overlapping policies should be avoided.”

Sander Geelen, CEO, Geelen Counterflow: “The existing EU targets for GHG emissions will not keep warming below 1.5C. We need more ambitious targets to avoid damage to the planetary support systems that sustain our society and economy. The necessary investments will pay for themselves, just like investments in economic support systems like healthcare and education.”

Edvardas Liachovičius, CEO, Girteka Logistics said: “Today trucks account for only 2% of vehicles on the road. Yet they are responsible for 22% of road transport CO2 emissions in the EU. We cannot meet the Paris agreement without decarbonising road freight. Replacing our 7.400 Euro 6 trucks with zero-emission vehicles is a must. Joining ECTA (European Clean Trucking Alliance) brings a strong and united voice to our common goal of having zero-emission trucks.”

Joost Bergsma, CEO and Managing Partner, Glennmont Partners: “The development of the European clean energy industry has been driven in large part by the existing EU decarbonisation targets. An EU objective of reducing domestic greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030 and associated objectives will be key in helping to mitigate the worst effects of climate change and promises to build upon this successful history of partnership between government and industry.”

Mads Nipper, CEO, Grundfos: “Though governments are busy confronting the economic and health emergencies brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, we must not lose sight of the historic opportunity that has presented itself. Now is the time to create the conditions for a society-wide transition to a low-carbon sustainable future and to show commitment by increasing the EU-reduction targets.”

Ignacio S. Galán, Chairman and CEO, Iberdrola: Europe must continue to be at the forefront of global efforts to address the climate crisis. An increased EU Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), which clearly defines a target to reduce GHG emissions by at least 55% by 2030, will ensure we are moving positively towards climate neutrality. An ambitious approach to climate action is key for a robust and green recovery from the Covid-19 crisis with the European Green Deal and the recovery package implementation at its core.  

"Policy frameworks and recovery plans must quickly set clear and predictable signals to unlock the investments required to build back a stronger economy and society and create sustainable jobs. The resources, technology and knowledge to quickly drive a green recovery are already in place.”

Ilkay Özkisaoglu, Owner, IMBEO: “I participate as an EIIF (European Industrial Insulation Foundation) Member and EIIF Ambassador in this campaign, because I believe there are still huge opportunities to reduce emissions in the process and manufacturing industries.”

Jon Abrahamsson Ring, CEO, Inter IKEA Group: “We all need to contribute to limit global warming to 1.5°C. We ask governments to step up their actions to drastically reduce the EU’s GHG emissions by 2030. In the current COVID-19 crisis, it is more important than ever that sustainable living is made affordable to the many people. It cannot be a luxury for the few. IKEA is committed to lead by example together with partners and enable a sustainable and more affordable tomorrow.”

Nigel Stansfield, President, Interface, EAAA (Europe, Africa, Australia, Asia) said: “A green recovery powered by businesses and governments alike will be needed to rebuild the economy as we exit the global pandemic. At Interface we have made a pledge to be carbon negative by 2040 and committed to use carbon as a regenerative resource. Through setting ambitious goals and challenging everyone to do more good, and going beyond mere mitigation, business and society can drive a more impactful climate policy in Europe.”

Luis Goncalves, CEO, Iskraemeco: “The Industrial Revolution 4.0 is not only about technology, but about knowledge and values, this means we must put action first. 75% of EU CO2 is created due to energy demand & production. At the same time, there are untapped opportunities and huge possibilities in energy efficiency improvements when existing technologies are used to their full potential. Europeans, the EU economy and the world needs smart and prompt decision. Let's take advantage of the digital and green energy transition.” 

Guy Grainger, EMEA CEO, JLL: “Even during these challenging times corporate commitments to climate action have remained strong. Businesses are ready to help deliver the new more ambitious target of a 55% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, and accelerate their activity and investment in environmental sustainability. But this commitment must be matched by individual EU member states, who can show they will do what it takes to help businesses play their part, by supporting the new target.”

Mantas Bartuška, CEO, JSC Lithuanian Railways: “There is no better day to commit to the European Green Deal than today. We cannot secure our prosperous future with actions only “in the near future”, we need to start acting now. Lithuanian Railways are fully committed to EU GHG emissions reduction targets for 2030 and we are starting our actions today – launching further electrification projects which will triple the length of our electrified railway lines and secure green and economically viable means of transportation for cargo and passengers by 2024."

Marie-Angee Debon, CEO, Keolis: “A global leader in shared mobility, Keolis partners with regions and communities of all sizes to harness the potential of their public transport networks as a source of attractiveness, vitality of their regions while reducing carbon emissions. A world leader in operating automated metro and tramway systems, Keolis relies on a sustained and open innovation policy alongside its partners and subsidiaries to develop new, innovative shared mobility solutions, tailored to each city or region.” 

Jean-Claude Carlin, Member of the Knauf Group Management Committee Insulation Europe / Middle East / Asia, Knauf Insulation: “The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of community, solidarity and what really brings us together — caring for one another. We need to capitalize on this positivity and sense of common cause and accelerate an ambitious green recovery driven by an uncompromising desire to tackle climate change. This recovery must dedicate significant resource to renovation recovery programmes across the continent. If post-COVID-19 financial packages are not focused on transforming our buildings, we will miss a once-in-a-generation opportunity.” 

Tex Gunning, CEO, LeasePlan: “The COVID-19 crisis has shown us how unthinkable – yet inevitable – events can change the world overnight. The same will happen when it comes to human-made climate change. Unless we act now, we will sleepwalk into the next inevitable catastrophe. That is why we are calling on EU policymakers to raise the 2030 greenhouse gas emissions reduction target to at least 55%, including through investing in zero emission electric vehicle infrastructure and technology. We desperately need to keep the momentum going, and cannot roll back our ambitions or make short-sighted concessions. The time to act is now.” 

Benoit Coquart CEO, LEGRAND: "As a company already committed to limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C and to support its customers to do so through its electrical and digital solutions, Legrand fully supports the EU new targets. All economical actors must take the same path together. It is a necessary condition to succeed."

Thierry Deau, President and CEO, Meridiam: “For long term investors, such as infrastructure investors, carbon pricing is key. It is not only a matter of price level, but, more essentially, one of price credibility and visibility that will drive investments towards more sustainability.”

George Muzinich, Chairman & CEO, Muzinich & Co. Limited: “Climate change is such an important issue for society, the natural environment and our economic future. We believe it’s critical for corporations, investors and governments to align on the ambitions of the Paris agreement with concrete emissions targets which is why we support this initiative.”

Peter Vanacker, President and CEO, Neste Oyj: "We fully support the ambition for the EU GHG reduction target for 2030. The current COVID-19 pandemic has not changed our climate commitments - we continue to invest in innovation and growth to support efforts against the climate crisis. We believe in being stronger together, and that we can build a more sustainable and resilient economy and society in collaboration with others."

Marco Settembri, CEO, Nestlé Europe, Middle East and North Africa: “Climate change will have huge consequences on food systems and on our society at large. Only together we can deliver positive outcomes, for people, for the planet and the economy. Nestlé supports the EU Farm To Fork Strategy, the Green and Inclusive Recovery from COVID-19 and ambitious GHG emissions reduction targets. We are fully committed to become climate neutral across our supply chain by 2050.”

Henrik Poulsen, CEO, Ørsted: “Speeding up the green transformation of the energy system is crucial to combatting climate change, but will also improve our quality of life in many other ways. Globally we can save 4 million lives per year through improved air quality, countries can achieve greater energy independence and millions of new green jobs can be created.”

Andre Calantzopoulos, CEO, Philip Morris International: “Beyond its human repercussions, climate change threatens business continuity. This is especially the case for businesses involving an agricultural supply chain. Climate protection is a clear priority for PMI. We support the Paris Agreement and are aligning our targets with the recommendations of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), aimed at stabilizing global temperature rise below the internationally agreed 1.5 degrees Celsius. We are undertaking a broad range of activities to reduce emissions and energy consumption within our operations and across our value chain, and we have committed to achieving carbon neutrality in our direct operations (scope 1+2) by 2030 and across our value chain (scope 1+2+3) by 2050. In 2020, we will improve our existing approach to internal carbon pricing, so that we better internalize external costs and achieve our carbon targets in an efficient way.”

Arturo Revenga, CEO, REVENGA Smart Solutions: “Revenga Smart Solutions contributes with its actions to the fulfilment of two of the binding Goals for the EU in 2030: achievement of at least 27% renewable energy production and at least 27% improvement in energy efficiency." 

Dimitri de Vreeze, co-Chief Executive Officer Royal DSM: “A high EU climate ambition on 2030 is not only essential for providing businesses the clarity and confidence to accelerate the needed transitions within the next critical 10 years, but also to demonstrate leadership for the global UNFCCC process. EU leaders now also have the opportunity to explicitly link the recovery instruments to an increase of the 2030 greenhouse gas emissions reduction target.”  

Gavin Patterson, President & Chief Revenue Officer, Salesforce: "The climate emergency is both the challenge and the opportunity of a lifetime. It requires us all to aim high and build a better society, together. We must act. At this moment, we call upon EU leadership to lead the way forward with ambitious and clear goals. Doing so, will not only address the climate crisis, but enable economic resilience and create a more equal society.”

Pierre-Etienne Bindschedler, CEO, Soprema Group: “The Soprema Group fully supports this new ambition aiming at reducing by 55% the gas emissions by 2030.”

Gianfilippo Mancini, CEO, Sorgenia: “The threat of climate change is real. We need urgent and concrete actions to lower the burden of human activities on the environment. As Sorgenia, we support a more ambitious EU 2030 target: only a sustainable business model can ensure social prosperity and speed up the energy transition. We are strongly committed to these goals.”

Renat Heuberger, CEO, South Pole: “Climate change rages on, while we battle Covid-19. Hurricanes, wildfires, droughts, ice caps melting - all on record levels. The time for action is now. Through South Pole's Climate Journey, we help companies, [governments] and organisations turn this challenge upside down and seize the competitive opportunity that sustainability offers. But this can only succeed if the drivers are ambitious enough. That is why South Pole strongly endorses an increased EU GHG emissions reduction target for 2030 to at least 55%.”

Alistair Phillips-Davies, Chief Executive, SSE: “To secure a green recovery and put the EU on the path to net zero, an ambitious European Green Deal is needed. To put the right signals in place to drive investment in low carbon infrastructure, the EU should increase its 2030 climate target from 40% to at least a 55% reduction on 1990 levels in the run up to COP26."

Christian Rynning-Tønnesen, CEO, Statkraft AS: “Statkraft fully supports Europe’s commitment to climate neutrality by 2050. We have already advocated for increasing the greenhouse gas reduction target for 2030 to at least 55% to align with a cost-effective trajectory to 2050. In our view, a strong ETS with an effective carbon price and a level playing field among energy carriers are essential going forward. We are convinced that renewable electricity and clean hydrogen are important to reduce emissions in all sectors and will contribute with our commercial activities in that respect. We also appreciate the holistic approach of the European Green Deal with the announced reforms of existing legislation and new initiatives – all under the umbrella of a just transition.” 

Odd Arild Grefstad, CEO, Storebrand: "We strongly support polices that enable substantial investments in carbon neutral solutions in the years to come. Storebrand is one of 12 founding members of Net Zero Asset Owner Alliance, where we commit to transitioning our investment portfolios to net-zero GHG emissions by 2050. This is consistent with a maximum temperature rise of 1.5°C, and we believe this is the right investment strategy for us as an asset owner and for our customers."

Miguel Varela, CEO, Teimas Desenvolvemento: “As human beings, the biggest threats we face are directly related to global warming. Reducing our greenhouse gas emissions makes us more resilient to the climate crisis and directly affects our survival as a species.”

José María Álvarez-Pallete López, Chairman & CEO, Telefónica S.A.: “At Telefónica, we are aware of the urgency to reduce carbon emissions, which is why we're committed to become net zero by 2030 in our main markets. Moreover, digitalization is essential to decarbonise the economy: our Eco-Smart solutions enable our clients to reduce their emissions. Let's create a better future together.”

Jaume Miquel, Chairman & CEO, Tendam: “We are firmly convinced that the collaboration between companies and civil society, and with the impulse of the EU, through all the mechanisms that are in its power to encourage the path towards a green economy, we should achieve the emission reduction targets for 2030 and the ambition of carbon neutrality.”

Adolfo Orive, CEO & President, Tetra Pak: “Tetra Pak has set its own target by committing to reach net zero GHG emissions in its own operations by 2030, with the ambition to achieve net zero GHG emissions for the entire value chain by 2050. Securing a climate-neutral and prosperous economy by 2050 requires the right decisions now.” 

Mette Lykke, CEO, Too Good To Go: “While food waste is responsible for 8% of all greenhouse gas emissions, reducing it is the most immediate, impactful and actionable solution against climate change. Only when European leaders integrate ambitious food waste reduction targets into Nationally Determined Contributions will we achieve our 2030 GHG reduction target on time.”

Jose La Loggia, President Commercial HVAC EMEA, Trane Technologies: “Increasing the EU GHG emissions reduction goal would drive action to enable Trane Technologies’ global commitment to reduce customer emissions by a gigaton (billion metric tonnes) by 2030.”

Magnus Hall, CEO, Vattenfall: “Vattenfall is fully committed to make fossil-free living possible within one generation. We are rapidly transforming our portfolio towards a fossil free energy supply and we have a clear roadmap for phasing out the last remaining fossil fuel-based assets. At the same time, we are constantly growing our total supply of fossil-free electricity, as it will be key for replacing fossil-fuels also in other major sectors, such as transport, buildings and industry. We believe that the next 10 years will be decisive in our joint fight against climate change, and that is why we firmly stand behind an ambitious 2030 EU climate target, which is fully aligned with the goals of the Paris Agreement.”

Wolfgang Anzengruber, CEO, VERBUND AG: “Increasing the 2030 climate ambition is not only a goal for environmental idealists. In order to preserve Europe’s prosperity in the future, it is also very much a goal for economic realists.”

Morten Dyrholm, Group Senior Vice-President, Global Marketing, Communication and Public Affairs, Vestas Wind Systems A/S: “More ambitious EU GHG emission reduction targets can be a signpost triggering increased global action to mitigate #climatechange while helping the EU to #BuildBackBetter - #renewableenergy is cleaner, safer, uses less water, creates more jobs and is more cost-efficient than fossil fuels.”

Steve Rendle, Chairman, President and CEO, VF Corporation: “Even in the midst of a pandemic, climate change remains the greatest challenge facing humanity today. Effective climate action will require thoughtful, yet aggressive decisions designed to create and protect healthy communities and secure a roadmap for a prosperous economy. As VF continues to lead with our actions, we fully support the call for comprehensive policies that bring alignment to our combined efforts and drive global solutions to rebuild our economy in a way that supports both people and the planet.”  

Nick Molho Executive Director, Aldersgate Group: “European leaders have rightly made an early commitment to align the economic recovery with the EU’s climate and environmental goals. Doing so requires ensuring that public funding and upcoming policies at a European and national level are all focused on supporting low carbon and nature restoration investments. This must include a revised 2030 emissions reduction target of at least 55% to provide near-term clarity across all economic sectors, particularly for heavy industrial sectors that need long lead-in times to adapt their production processes. An ambitious 2030 target, alongside concrete delivery policies such as a robust and predictable carbon price, will be essential to provide businesses with the certainty they need to invest in the pathway to reaching climate neutrality by 2050."

Aron Cramer, President and CEO, BSR: “Europe is leading the way in shaping and delivering a green recovery that creates an inclusive economy on the path to net zero carbon. A more ambitious emissions reduction target for 2030 is essential to this leadership.”

Ana Struna Bregar, CEO, CER - Sustainable Business Network Slovenia: “We only have one chance for a green transition into a climate-neutral economy. Therefore, this transition has to be professional, collaborative, and based on high human values.”

Thomas Nowak, Secretary General, European Heat Pump Association (EHPA): “We have the technologies available to significantly reduce GHG emissions and an increasing number of studies and modelling exercises tells us that this can be done efficiently. Thus, an increased GHG target is not only a climate obligation, but also a contribution to an economic recovery program.”

Nina Ekelund, Executive Director, The Haga Initiative: “A more ambitious climate target will give Europe more business and it is a perfect opportunity in light of the green recovery.” 

Sergio Andreis, Director, Kyoto Club: “Kyoto Club supports an increased EU GHG emissions reduction target for 2030 because the climate crisis we are facing needs greater ambition NOW.”

Bertrand Piccard, Chairman, Solar Impulse Foundation: “With the hundreds of solutions that the Solar Impulse Foundation is identifying everywhere around the world, the goal of reducing CO2 emissions by 55% in 2030 is not only possible, it is also the only way to boost economic growth after the COVID crisis.”

Helen Clarkson, CEO, The Climate Group: “The Climate Group has repeatedly highlighted the need to halve the world’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions this decade and supports the EU in increasing its emissions reduction target for 2030. The challenge ahead is daunting, but achievable with bold action now.”

Virve Groning, Managing Director, U-landshjälp från Folk till Folk i Finland sr: “It is time to make a consolidated effort and leadership for our climate and our globe and for the future of our children.”


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The magazine SEA has been published since 1935
International business magazine JŪRA MOPE SEA has been published since 1999
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The magazine JŪRA has been published since 1935.
International business magazine JŪRA MOPE SEA has been
published since 1999.

ISSN 1392-7825

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