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Businesses urge recovery packages to link to net zero commitments

Published May 28, 2020

Businesses urge recovery packages to link to net zero commitments

The heads of 40 global energy, industry, finance, and civil society organisations have called on governments to make their pandemic recovery packages dependent on long-term actions to reduce climate change.  

According to the edie news service, the CEOs of organisations including BP, Heathrow Airport, Shell, and HSBC, signed a letter to governments setting out how they can “unleash massive investments into renewables”, phase out fossil fuels, and incentivise businesses to set net zero commitments.  

The letter recommends the inclusion of “climate conditionalities” into stimulus packages that enable different-sized corporates to recovery through sustainable actions.  

Convened through the Energy Transitions Commission, the letter said: “Today, we call on governments of the world to spend economic stimulus spending wisely and invest in the economy of the future.” 

The letter suggests climate conditionalities should include defined decarbonisation commitments set for 2030 in order to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. The packages would also require businesses to disclose climate-related financial risks from 2021.  

“The debate about conditionality will go on for months to come,” said Jeremy Nicholson, Corporate Affairs Officer at Alfa Energy. “Governments will have to prioritise how recovery money is spent and make some hard choices, for instance, whether to invest in a green steel project in Port Talbot or bail out an airline. This will be a feature of the recovery packages across Europe: if resources are scarce and governments need to decide which sectors to support, why not take environmental objectives into consideration?”