Business leaders impatient on climate change

A group of senior figures from the business world have called on politicians to seek “transformational change” in delivering a low-carbon economy.

The Prince of Wales’ UK Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change has written to the leaders of Britain’s three largest parties, and others, pressing that “action cannot be delayed” despite the impending recession.

It says Britain must assume next year’s UN Framework Convention on Climate change sets a target of cutting carbon emissions by 30 per cent by 2020, not the current 20 per cent.

And it seeks a “comprehensive package of policy measures to change every major sector of the economy” from the government.

Chief executives from companies like Centrica, Johnson Matthey and Kingfisher are among the signatories to the letter.

Lucy Neville-Rolfe, group director of corporate and legal affairs at Tesco, commented: “Government and businesses are interdependent on climate change and we must work together to engage consumers – saving energy, recycling and conserving resources.”

The letter calls for major investment in infrastructure projects, calls for progress on greener forward procurement commitments, support for low-carbon technologies and products and a drive to improve energy efficiency standards.

“While the climate change bill and strong, binding targets represent a crucial framework for emissions reduction, they will not in themselves reduce emissions,” the letter states.

“We now urgently need crossparty effort to develop a comprehensive package of policy measures to change every major sector of the economy.”