Letter urges EU leaders to increase GHG reduction targets

By Erin Voegele | September 16, 2020

John Keppler, chairman and CEO of Enviva and Will Gardiner, CEO of Drax Group, are among the nearly 200 business leaders, investors and organizations that recently sent a letter leaders of the European Union and EU member states urging the EU to increase greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction targets and enable the green investments needed to deliver climate neutrality by 2050.

The letter asks the EU and member states to endorse the goals of the European Green Deal, submit COVID-19 resilient recovery plans that enable the green investments that are needed to deliver climate neutrality, and agree to a clearly defined target to reduce domestic GHG emissions by at least 55 percent by 2030.

“We understand the risks posed by climate change and biodiversity loss to our businesses and are already working to unlock change in key economic sectors,” said the businesses leaders and groups in the letter. “Investors, banks and insurers are working to transition portfolios to net zero emissions. More than 900 companies are taking science-based climate action and more than 400 have approved science-based targets. We are investing heavily in clean energy, energy efficiency and electrification, lowering emissions across value chains and the lifecycle of our products, and developing better practices in the bioeconomy.

“At the same time we are acutely aware of the potential social impacts that can come with economic transition and we hope to work alongside policymakers to support a well-thought-through strategy centered on fair and respectful treatment of workers and communities, that can offer longer-term opportunities and jobs in the new economy,” they continued. “Building back a stronger economy and society now sustains not just this generation but those to come, giving our children and grandchildren the chance to live well and safely.”

The letter cites research that shows investment in decarbonization is good for the economy, society and the climate. It stresses that policies that reduce GHG emissions can ensure a more resilient and sustainable labor market, deliver higher short-term returns on investment, and lead to increased long-term cost savings when compared with traditional fiscal stimulus.

“There is no way to achieve ‘Net Zero’ carbon reductions and effectively address climate change without a radical rethink on how we utilize and leverage bioenergy,” said John Keppler, chairman and CEO of Enviva. “Enviva fully supports efforts to increase 2030 emissions reduction targets and firmly believes that sustainably sourced wood biomass is a critical pathway to achieving this goal. Increasing 2030 emissions targets is an important component of the ambitious and aggressive actions we must take if we plan to succeed in eliminating additional carbon emissions from entering the environment by 2050.”

A full copy of the letter can be downloaded form the Corporate Leaders Groups website