In The Press

Europe must lead climate talks (in The Times)

9 July 2009

Attention now needs to focus on the serious challenges posed by climate change

Sir, As the G8 and leading economies discuss climate change this week, we write to emphasise the importance of continued European leadership in this area.

It is understandable that businesses have now focused their attention on the short-term economic situation. However, we cannot afford to do so at the cost of ignoring the longer-term and more serious challenges posed by climate change. Indeed, the commitment to help developing nations is all the more urgent because of the potentially devastating effects of climate change on many of these countries.

We recognise that businesses have a responsibility to reduce emissions and are well placed to help governments to meet their climate change targets. Many companies have set their own targets for cutting emissions or improving energy efficiency; while others have become involved in providing alternative energy or reducing their environmental impact through the EU Emissions Trading Scheme.

Through the 20/20/20 targets, Europe has displayed its commitment and provided leadership to nations in the G20 and beyond. We view the transition to a low-carbon economy as a great opportunity for business and we call upon EU leaders to display robust leadership in the lead-up to December’s climate change talks in Copenhagen.

Roland Rudd (Chairman, Business for New Europe)
Lord Browne of Madingley (President, Royal Academy of Engineering)
Richard Brown (Chief Executive, Eurostar)
Roger Carr (Chairman, Centrica)
Philip Dilley (Chairman, Arup)
Andreas Goss (Chief Executive, Siemens)
Lady Judge (Chairman, UK Atomic Energy Authority)
James Mccallum (Chief Executive, Senergy)
Sir John Parker (Chairman, National Grid)
Sir Mike Rake (Chairman, BT)
Nicholas Walsh (Vice-Chairman, AIU Holdings Inc)
Willie Walsh (Chief Executive, BA)
Bill Winters (Co-CEO, Investment Bank, J. P. Morgan)

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