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A new campaign has been launched to encourage organisations to get behind the UK’s ambitious 2050 net zero carbon emissions commitment.
The One Planet Pledge has a single aim - to encourage as many companies as possible to commit to helping the UK reach net zero emissions. It is designed to be a simple and effective way for purpose-led organisations to make their public and ambitious pledge by setting their own target date for hitting net zero.
The One Planet Pledge has been launched by former Cabinet Minister, Rt Hon Justine Greening, drawing on her experience as the United Kingdom’s former Secretary of State for International Development. It was while she held the post that the UN Sustainable Development Goals were formally adopted by the United Nations General Assembly. In 2019, the UK became the first major economy in the world to make a legal commitment that by 2050 it would end its contribution to global warming.
Among the first to sign the One Planet Pledge are National Grid; insurance giant Direct Line; house builder Barratt Developments; and Northern Gas Networks. Other signatories from the higher education sector include Staffordshire University, the University of West London and the University of Greenwich.
The One Planet Pledge will mobilise businesses and universities to get behind the Net Zero target and has been developed by the team behind the national Social Mobility Pledge. Over 450 businesses and 60 universities, representing more than seven million people, have now committed to the Social Mobility Pledge, which was founded by Justine Greening and entrepreneur David Harrison in 2018.
There can be absolutely no doubt that climate change is one of the most urgent and pressing challenges that we face. As UN Secretary-General António Guterres has said, ‘the climate emergency is a race we are losing, but it is a race we can win.
Rt Hon Justine Greening, commenting on the launch of the One Planet Pledge
“Hitting the UK’s 2050 target will need a country-wide effort and the role of business as a force for good is essential. Unarguably economic growth has been responsible for lifting large numbers out of poverty in the last twenty years. But unless we take action, climate change will have a devastating impact that pushes those gains back and risks devastating consequences.
“I have always said that People and Planet are two sides of the same coin. Through the Social Mobility Pledge, businesses and universities have committed to tackling the opportunity gap and levelling up our country. Purpose-led organisations also have a vital role to play in helping the UK reach Net Zero as soon as possible.”
Entrepreneur David Harrison, cofounder of the Social Mobility Pledge, says just as with boosting opportunity, the role of business will be crucial. In 2018, he co-authored a report into Carbon Capture and Storage and called for more investment into technology solutions to meet the Net Zero target.
Commenting on the launch of the One Planet Pledge, he said: “Businesses are adept at coming up with solutions to society’s problems. Achieving net zero by 2050 will need a big effort and the One Planet Pledge is designed to help mobilise it.
“Whether it’s reducing their own emissions or coming up with new technologies and solutions, this is a great opportunity for businesses and universities to take a lead and become the answer. Having a greener environment should not mean a weaker economy. In fact, successful businesses take a wider world’s priorities and make them their own.
“That's why the One Planet Pledge asks businesses to lead by publicly, clearly and transparently make their pledge on when they will reach Net Zero.”
Businesses can find out more and sign the One Planet Pledge at www.oneplanetpledge.org
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