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business leaders want climate change lead

July 2005

The heads of 13 UK and international companies have written a letter to prime minister Tony Blair demanding a 'strong policy framework' on climate change so that businesses know where they stand on the matter.

The letter, signed by members of the University of Cambridge Programme for Industry's Corporate Leaders Group - which includes ABN Amro, AWG, BAA, Cisco Systems, HSBC, Johnson Matthey, ScottishPower, Shell and Sun Microsystems - describes a 'Catch 22' situation 'in which governments feel limited in their ability to introduce new climate change policy because they fear business resistance, while companies are unable to scale up investment in low carbon solutions because of the absence of long-term policies'.

It pledged the signatories to work with the government on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and to engage other British businesses on the topic.

The move comes amid signs that the business world is becoming more vocal on climate change. Last month the heads of 24 major companies, including BP, British Airways and Ford, met Blair to call for urgent action on the issue.

The World Economic Forum, which organized the meeting ahead of the G8 forum in Edinburgh, said companies were supportive of moves to combat climate change, but were seeking 'certainty' over what they are expected to do, given the need for long-term investment in technology.

Contradictory signals from governments are one of the chief business objections to developing climate change strategies.


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