Over 70 European companies have called on the EU to increase its emissions target from the current 20% reduction for 2020 up to 30%.
The businesses, which include heavyweights like Coca-Cola, Google and Nestlé, are calling for a European policy framework that will accelerate investment in renewables and energy efficiency.
Research from The European Commission claims that by increasing the target, imports of oil and gas could be reduced by €45.5 billion in 2020, and energy efficiency and renewable energy sources could decrease the economy’s import dependency and vulnerability to fossil fuel prices.
The UK’s Energy and Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne welcomed the news: “More and more businesses now realise that Europe’s future prosperity lies in a low carbon economy. Backing from major corporations will put greater pressure on the EU to raise its emissions reduction target to 30% and to establish clear incentives for low carbon growth as soon as possible.”
The consortium, which has a total of nearly 4 million employees, say an increased climate ambition will contribute to the creation of new green jobs. Leaders of the businesses were keen to stress the important role the EU would play in a low carbon future.
Mikael Ohlsson, CEO and President, IKEA Group, said: “At IKEA we are committed to a long term strategy where all IKEA Group stores and buildings will be supplied with 100% renewable energy and we will improve our overall energy efficiency by 25 percent compared with 2005. Clear and strong EU policies and goals are necessary to enable clean evolution and innovation together with businesses and citizens. The EU needs to play a leading role in tomorrow’s society.”