This week the UK government enshrined a long-term target of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 in law. Previously they had targeted an 80% reduction in emissions by 2050. Slashing emissions by 100% in this timeframe represents a significant increase in ambition and commitment. Last December, nearly 200 countries pledged to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions in the COP21 Paris Agreement, in order to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees celsius. The long-term goal of net-zero emissions is an important part of this agreement, sending a clear signal to business and capital markets that the transition to a zero-carbon economy will continue to accelerate and helping to unlock private investment in clean energy technology and drive innovation.
Last month former UK Labour leader Ed Miliband called for the U.K government to embed the net-zero target in law. B Team Co-Chairs Sir Richard Branson and Jochen Zeitz, and B Team Leader and CEO of Unilever, Paul Polman, wrote, on behalf of The B Team, to Chancellor George Osborne supporting this call. Our letter made clear that bold action at the national policy level to ensure that the Paris Agreement is fully implemented on a global scale is supported by business.
Ten B Team companies are already striving for a net-zero emissions by 2050 target in their own operations—and we are working to increase the number of companies around the world with this goal.