Climate Change as a Business Problem

Some political problems can be solved overnight; others take years to tackle. But, in the distant future, when the financial crisis and the euro’s troubles are long forgotten, we will still be facing the consequences of climate change – consequences that companies have a strong interest in preventing.

LONDON – Some political problems can be solved overnight; others take years to tackle. But, in the distant future, when the financial crisis and the euro’s troubles are long forgotten, we will still be facing the consequences of climate change.

A challenge of this scale and depth demands an unprecedented level of cooperation – between countries, between political parties, and between government, business, and citizens. It is for this reason that some of Britain’s biggest businesses, including Lloyds Banking Group, came together in the Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change (CLG). In other words, we have committed ourselves to working together to confront this challenge, and our work so far has been extremely promising: we supported the Climate Change Act; we helped set strong, scientifically robust targets for carbon reduction; and we have supported each successive Carbon Budget up to the latest, fourth installment.

When the United Kingdom’s coalition government was formed last year, we were encouraged by Prime Minister David Cameron’s pledge to make this the “greenest government ever.” Unless we have precisely that, Britain risks not only missing its carbon-reduction targets, but also falling behind in the effort to create a stronger, more stable, and sustainable economy. One of the important first steps, which the CLG encouraged, was making the UK the first country to establish legally-binding targets for carbon reduction well into the 2020’s.

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