Aegon CEO Alex Wynaendts has joined his peers from more than 50 businesses, investors and business networks, in urging the EU to endorse a long-term decarbonisation strategy to achieve climate neutrality by 2050.
The call to action took the form of an open letter published on April 30, ahead of the Future of Europe summit in the Romania city of Sibiu on May 9.
The business leaders want heads of state to put climate change at the top of the EU agenda. This will, the letter says, provide businesses with the confidence needed to invest in sustainable, net zero industries of the future and deliver on their positive economic forecast for a climate neutral transition.
The letter states: "Putting climate change at the top of Europe's agenda will provide business with the clarity and confidence to invest in the sustainable, net zero emissions industries of the future, driving innovation and protecting European competitiveness on a global scale ... Collectively, we have an urgent task: to decarbonise the global economy in little more than a generation.
"Every year more of us are setting science-based targets for our companies' emissions, we are purchasing clean energy and signing up to renewable energy commitments, using low emission and electric vehicles, converting land to carbon sinks and improving energy efficiency throughout our operations.
"We are doing this because we see the threat that climate change poses to our businesses. The impacts of climate change are already affecting our bottom lines: degrading worker health and productivity, disrupting our operations and supply chains, and damaging assets ... A clear, coherent vision from European governments and institutions for climate neutrality by 2050 at the latest will give businesses like ours the long-term guidance we need to invest."
As a signatory of the Paris Pledge for Action and considering our strategic focus on supporting the energy transition, we ask EU leaders to urgently execute on the measures against climate change as agreed upon in Paris.
The signatories include members of The Prince of Wales's Corporate Leaders Group (CLG), We Mean Business network, The Haga Initiative, the Climate Leadership Coalition, the The Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC).
They come from both worldwide and national businesses, across industry sectors, including automotive, energy, retail, chemicals, steel, engineering, insurance, farming, and food and drink.
Alex Wynaendts, CEO of Aegon, said: "As a signatory of the Paris Pledge for Action and considering our strategic focus on supporting the energy transition, we ask EU leaders to urgently execute on the measures against climate change as agreed upon in Paris."