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European Commission shows welcome ambition to achieve net zero emissions

28th November 2018

Reacting to the publication today of the European Commission’s proposal for a strategy for long-term EU greenhouse gas emissions reductions, Nick Molho, Executive Director at the Aldersgate Group said: “We welcome the publication of the European Commission’s proposal for a long-term climate strategy and the clear vision put forward by Commissioners Maroš Šefčovič, Miguel Arias Cañete and Violeta Bulc of building a climate neutral, competitive and socially cohesive European economy by 2050. This intervention comes at a key time ahead of the Katowice summit and can play an important role in ramping up ambition amongst other key emitters. To deliver the Paris Agreement and act on the key messages from last month's IPCC report, the Commission, European Parliament and national governments must focus their attention on the highest ambition pathways in the proposal, aim to over-achieve Europe’s 2030 climate targets and introduce appropriate policy in the immediate term to put Europe on a cost-effective and economically beneficial pathway towards net zero emissions.”

Nick Molho added: “It is by setting ambitious science-based goals and supporting these with credible innovation, deployment and transition support policies that the EU and its member states can play their part in delivering the ambition of the Paris Agreement, influence international partners and ensure European businesses are well placed to compete in the global low carbon economy.”

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Reactive to Secretary of State Greg Clark's speech on the Cost of Energy Review

15th November 2018

Reacting to Secretary of State Greg Clark's speech on the Cost of Energy Review, Nick Molho, Executive Director at the Aldersgate Group said: "The Secretary of State announced some important principles today that give a better sense of the government's long-term energy policy direction. However, if the UK is to have an affordable and low carbon power system, the government's upcoming policy paper needs to tackle how cheap and mature forms of renewable energy can have a route to market, how interconnection links with the EU will continue to grow after Brexit, what the carbon price trajectory will look like in the 2020s and how large consumers of electricity can be rewarded for providing flexibility services to the grid [1]."

—ENDS—

[1] UCL (2018) UK industrial electricity prices: competitiveness in a low carbon world http://www.aldersgategroup.org.uk/latest#removing-barriers-to-mature-renewables-key-to-lowering-industrial-electricity-prices

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Top companies back green targets

6th November 2018

On 4th November, the Sunday Telegraph published our letter, signed by 20 business organisations, arguing that there is a strong business case for including long-term environment goals in the upcoming Environment Bill. See full text below:

Britain’s first environmental Bill in over 20 years is a unique opportunity to improve the competitiveness of the British economy and demonstrate continued environmental leadership after Brexit.

As organisations operating across multiple sectors of Britain’s economy, we believe that ambitious, well-designed and properly enforced environmental regulations make good business sense. They provide a level playing field, incentivise investment in innovation and skills, support job creation and help businesses develop commercial strengths in fast- growing areas of the world economy. We have seen this dynamic at play in, for example, the introduction of environmental regulations in the construction, waste and car manufacturing industries.

We therefore call on the Government to strengthen its 25 Year Environment Plan by introducing environmental goals in the upcoming Environment Bill. The Bill should at least set measurable targets to cover improvements to air and water quality, soil health, peatland restoration, net biodiversity gain and resource efficiency.

If supported by detailed policies and an effective environmental watchdog, this legislation would send clear signals for businesses to invest in environmental improvements and resource efficiency, and ensure that we pass on a healthy environment and competitive economy to the next generation.

Nick MolhoExecutive director, Aldersgate Group, Javier Quiñones, Country Retail Manager, Ikea UK and Ireland, Mike Barry, Director of Sustainable Business, Marks & Spencer, Stefano Agostini, CEO, Nestlé UK & Ireland, Juergen Maier, CEO, Siemens plc, Jonathan Hampson, General Manager, Zipcar UK, Peter Simpson, Chief Executive Officer, Anglian Water, Duncan Price, Partner, Sustainability, BuroHappold Engineering, Martin Casey, Director, Public Affairs Europe, CEMEX, Dale Vince, Founder, Ecotricity, Ece Ozdemiroglu, Director, eftecRichard Speak, Founder Director, Environmental Finance, Nigel Stansfield, President, Interface EMEA, Nick Lakin, Group Director of Corporate Affairs, Kingfisher plcCaroline MayHead of Safety and Environment, Norton Rose Fulbright LLP, Dr Richard AndrewsManaging Principal, Europe & Africa, Ramboll Environment and Health UK LtdDavid Palmer-JonesCEO, SUEZ Recycling & Recovery UKBevis WattsManaging Director, Triodos Bank UKRick WillmottGroup Chief Executive, Willmott DixonDavid SymonsUK Sustainability Director, WSP.

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