100 billion euros of investment to decarbonize their companies by 2030, a gradual introduction of a cross-sector CO2 price and ambitious phase-out dates for coal: These are some of the key points of ten top managers from the energy, transport and technology industries issued in a joint position paper. Thereby, the leading European CEOs are calling for far-reaching climate protection measures at the occasion of the seventh international climate strike on Friday, March 19, 2021.
The ten business leaders Björn Rosengren (ABB), Thierry Vanlancker (AkzoNobel), Francesco Starace (ENEL), Leonhard Birnbaum (E.ON), Ignacio Galán (Iberdrola), Søren Skou (Maersk), Christian Klein (SAP), Henrik Henriksson (Scania), Jean-Pascale Tricoire (Schneider Electric) and Herbert Diess (Volkswagen) are members of the “CEO Alliance for Europe’s Recovery, Reform and Resilience”.
This CEO Alliance formed in 2020 against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic and the historic decisions on the European Green Deal. Their common goal is to make the EU the world’s leading region for climate protection while unlocking investments, driving innovations in tomorrow’s technologies and creating future proof jobs.
Today, the top managers published a joint position paper with ambitious proposals. They state: “We firmly believe that the EU Green Deal and Next Generation EUwill put Europe’s innovation and business ingenuity to the service of the global climate cause, will kick-start a wave of investments into sustainability and resilience and will create future-proof jobs across the EU.” The CEOs encourage European policy makers to take bold steps towards climate neutrality such as “continuing to pursue a standardized cross-sector CO2 price” and “setting end-dates for carbon-intense technologies”.
The CEO Alliance considers itself an “Action Tank”, working together in concrete joint projects: Cross-EU charging infrastructure for heavy duty transport, integration of EU Power systems, digital carbon footprint tracking, sustainable healthy buildings, e-buses for Europe, green hydrogen value chain and rapid build-up of battery production.
The aspiration of the top managers is to work with their companies across sectors to find practical solutions for effective climate protection. In doing so, they strive for an ongoing constructive dialogue with the EU Commission. In a digital meeting on Thursday, the Executive Vice President of the Commission Frans Timmermans and the CEOs discussed the progress on the implementation of the Green Deal and the interim status of the Alliance’s joint projects.
Executive Vice-President Timmermans stated: “Making Europe climate neutral by 2050 is a huge challenge. The European Commission will propose legislation to put sectors like transport and energy on the right track. Our long term plan includes investment in charging infrastructure, battery production, renovation and renewable energy production. The NextGeneration EU recovery fund will help make this possible. Our goal is not any transition, it’s a just and fair transition, leaving no one behind. I welcome the CEO Alliance’s commitment to Europe’s green recovery and share their conviction that their companies have what it takes to build a sustainable future.”