Wednesday, October 27

Aviva, Tesco Want UK to Mandate Corporate Net-Zero Plans

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(Bloomberg) — UK businesses have teamed up with investors managing over 4.5 trillion pounds ($6.1 trillion) to urge the government of Prime Minister Boris Johnson to force corporate Britain to disclose net-zero emissions plans.

The group, which includes Aviva Plc, BT Group Plc and Tesco Plc, has written to Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, and Secretary of State for the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Kwasi Kwarteng, requesting that mandatory disclosures of net -zero transition plans be introduced by 2025, according to a statement on Monday. They also want the government to develop official guidance on what a credible transition plan looks like.

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While a growing number of companies and financial institutions have committed to net zero emissions across their operations and supply chains by 2050, few have mapped out in detail how they plan to reach that goal. Without information on the intended pace of corporate decarboniziaton, investors will struggle to follow through on their own net zero pledges. The joint pressure campaign from UK businesses and investors comes as Britain prepares to host COP26 climate talks, with world leaders set to descend on Glasgow next month. “Sustainability targets are meaningless without an action plan to make them a reality,” Phil Bentley, chief executive of facilities management company Mitie Group Plc, said in the statement. “By mandating that businesses disclose their own net zero transition plans, Government can play a key role in helping the nation go further , and faster, towards the decarbonization of Britain.”

A recent report from conservation group WWF found only 19% of major UK companies have published a detailed action plan for eliminating their net emissions.

Mandatory transition plans “are vital if companies’ net zero commitments are to translate into the reduction in global emissions required to meet the Paris Agreement,” said Mark Versey, CEO of Aviva Investors. “Ahead of COP26, the UK should demonstrate its international leadership on climate change by stating its intention to make transition plans a mandatory requirement.”

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