Businesses beg new PM to ‘keep net zero targets going’

These include Amazon, Coca-Cola, Unilever and Lloyds Bank

Some of the UK’s largest businesses have submitted an open letter to contenders for Tory Party leadership to keep net zero front-of-mind for the sake of the economy.

Following Boris Johnson’s resignation as party leader, there has been very little clarity in what climate policy could look like moving forward – depending on which MP should take the reigns of Prime Minister.

Amazon, Coca-Cola, Unilever and Lloyds Bank are some of the large companies that have been represented in this open letter.

It states: “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.”

Cambridge University’s green business group CLG UK has organised the letter – claiming that from an economic standpoint, let alone an environmental one, scrapping net zero would have hugely detrimental repercussions.

Since the government announced its Ten-Point Plan, 56,000 new jobs were created – with this expected to rise to 440,000 from the new Net Zero Strategy.

Eliot Whittington, Director of CLG UK, explains that although the Conservatives have shown a “record of climate leadership” in the past, a decision to ignore net zero now would see “the country fall behind on the energy transition and face unnecessary costs and risks.”

This is even more critical given the ongoing cost-of-living crisis, he stresses.

“Forward looking businesses want more, not less, ambition on climate action. The next Prime Minister must centre climate policy and continue delivery of net zero and regenerating the UK’s nature,” he said.

Another argument put across in the letter is that businesses need a continuation of policy – allowing them to appropriately plan going forward and make decisions that have ramifications across the business.

Some MPs from within the Tory Party had raised concerns earlier this week that the next leader might not be so keen on keeping net zero alive – with the next general election not until 2024.

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