Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change
The Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change (CLG), a group hosted by the University of Cambridge's Programme for Industry, describes itself as comprising "business leaders from major UK, EU and international companies who believe that there is an urgent need to develop new and longer-term policies for tackling climate change."
The University of Cambridge, which hosts the group, states that there are UK and EU sub-groups which "are cross-sector, encompassing energy producers, manufacturers, banks, retailers, utilities and others. They have been active since 2005 in progressing action on climate change, working with national governments, international fora and within the business community."
In September 2008 18 corporate executives signed a letter from the UK CLG to the leaders of the three largest UK political parties -- Gordon Brown from the Labour Party, David Cameron from the Conservative Party and Nick Clegg from the Liberal Democrats -- supporting the UK Climate Bill before the parliament and support for the European Union adopting a target of a 30% cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020.
In the letter, the executives stated that "climate change poses global social, environmental and economic risks and demands a transformational change in how we manage our economy. Incremental change will not do." It further stated that "we must deliver deep and rapid cuts in greenhouse gas emissions to mitigate severe climate change, and must adapt our economy, environment and infrastructure to cope with the climatic changes we are already predicted to face" and welcomed the "Climate Change Bill and the cross-party consensus that lies behind it."
Anticipating pessimism in some circles that a successor agreement to the Kyoto Protocol may not be agreed to at the COP15 meeting in Copenhagen, the CLG UK proposed that "the UK should start planning for success in the international climate change negotiations and should adopt a working assumption that a legally-binding international framework will be agreed in Copenhagen next year, implying that the European Union should cut greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2020, not 20%." While stating that "targets and budgets should be guided primarily by science, not short-term concerns over economic cycles" the group does not make clear on how it arrived at the 30% reduction goal.
In the letter, the UK CLG stated that, in the context of the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme, it supported:
- "additional funding" for "mitigation and adaptation strategies"; the group doesn't specifically state what the funding should be for other than some of it for "capacity and technology support for developing countries to change their emission pathways";
- and that it would "welcome progress towards including aviation in ETS from 2012"; (aviation is currently exempted from both the UK Climate change Bill and from the Kyoto Protocol. (See Greenhouse gas emissions from the international aviation industry for further details.)
- the annual reduction in greenhouse gas emissions allowances should be 1.74% per annum between 2013 and 2020; (Friends of the Earth in the UK argued that, in the context of the UK climate bill, the reduction target should be 3% a year.
- unspecified "existing technologies must be deployed rapidly and a range of new technologies must be brought to market". (Some companies in the power sector argue for major public spending researching as yet unproven Carbon Capture and Storage technologies for coal-fired power stations. E.ON, one of the signatories to the letter, is touting a raft of new power stations it is proposing across Europe as being "CCS-ready".)
- "the inclusion of adaptation in the draft Climate Change Bill and the Government's Adapting to Climate Change Programme" and that government departments should "work to remove" unspecified "barriers to effective adaptation".
The inclusion of the CEOs of E.ON UK and BAA as signatories to the letter drew a scathing response from Ben Stewart, the Greenpeace communications director. "This is hypocrisy of the purest strain. It's astounding that E.ON would call for action on climate change when they're agitating to build Britain's first coal-fired power stations in decades. It makes an environmentalist's jaw drop to see the BAA logo on this letter when they're trying to expand airports across the nation," he told the Guardian. "This is like Howard Marks [a convicted drug smuggler] calling for a crackdown on pot. If the executives of these companies want action on climate change they should immediately lock themselves in their boardrooms and not come out until Kingsnorth and Heathrow expansion have been dropped."
The CLG lists its membership according to whether they are involved with the UK CLG, the European CLG or its international activities. However, the membership between the three subgroups overlaps.
UK CLG Members
On its website, the CLG lists the members of the UK CLG, as of September 2008, as being:
- Anglian Water Group
- F&C Asset Management
- Faber Maunsell
- John Lewis Partnership
- Johnson Matthey
- Lloyds TSB
- Reckitt Benckiser
- Standard Chartered Bank
- Sun Microsystems
- Thames Water
Articles and resources
Related SourceWatch articles
- Accra Climate Change Talks 2008
- Clean Development Mechanism
- Emissions Trading
- Joint Implementation
- Kyoto Protocol
- United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
- Lucy Neville-Rolfe - member
- Ian Cheshire
- The Prince of Wales Business and Environment Programme, "Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change", University of Cambridge, accessed September 2008.
- "UK CLG Letter to UK Party Leaders", Media Release, September 19, 2008.
- "Re: Cross-party effort needed to deliver low climate risk economy", Letter to Gordon Brown et al, September 19, 2008.
- Alison Benjamin and Hilary Osborne, "Q&A: Climate change bill", Guardian, October 29, 2007.
- "Business chiefs urge action on climate change", Guardian (UK), September 19, 2008.
- "Member Companies", University of Cambridge, accessed September 2008.