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  • by Karma Loveday

Water firms join business leaders’ call for climate neutrality by 2050

Anglian Water, Affinity Water, United Utilities and Severn Trent were among

128 businesses who last week called on the government to put climate neutrality by 2050 into legislation immediately.

In an open letter to Theresa May, the companies, which also included Arup, KPMG, BT, Coca-Cola John Lewis, Mott MacDonald and Sainsbury’s urged the recommendations of the Committee on Climate Change be accepted. They called for the UK to become the first major economy to legislate for an ambitious, domestic decarbonisation target that delivers net zero by 2050 at the latest.

The letter, signed by chief executives and other leaders, said: “As leading businesses and investors, we are determined to support an affordable transition and drive innovation. Many of us are setting our own net-zero and science-based targets. We are also increasingly investing in and purchasing clean energy, using low emission and electric vehicles, converting land to carbon sinks and improving energy efficiency throughout our operations and portfolios – and making new green jobs in the process.

“We are doing this because we see the threat that climate change poses to our businesses and to our investments, as well as the significant economic opportunities that come with being an early mover in the development of new low-carbon goods and services. But we need effective, long-term policies to support the investment and innovation required if the UK is to accelerate the necessary transition and ensure it is delivered fairly.”

The move was supported by business and investment networks the CBI, The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group, the Aldersgate Group and the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change, representing more than 190,000 businesses, more than 7 million workers, and more than £20trillion in assets under management.

Anglian Water chief executive Peter Simpson, (pictured), said: “Recently the whole of the UK water industry agreed to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2030. This experience has convinced us that more ambitious national targets are not only essential but they are also good for business.”

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