Carbon neutrality by 2050 makes sense

(EurActiv, 8 May 2019) To stay within the boundaries of the Paris Agreement, Europe needs to accelerate efforts to achieve a carbon neutral future and put climate change at the top of the EU agenda. Frank van der Vloed highlights five key steps that are critical for businesses to make the transition.

Frank van der Vloed is President Europe at Signify, a world leader in lighting solutions for professionals, consumers and the Internet of Things.

This spring, two faces from two generations brought us the same urgent warning about the future of our planet if we don’t address climate change now. For their supporters, the teenage Swedish activist, Greta Thunberg and veteran broadcaster Sir David Attenborough have arguably done more to raise the alarm than any government in the 30 years since we confirmed mankind’s role in climate change.

The powerful mix of an esteemed natural historian sharing his view of the plight of our world and the refusal to accept the status quo of a teenager inheriting that world was followed by a dramatic climate protest when Extinction Rebellion brought London to a standstill. Satellite events took place around the world.

As a result, climate change has received renewed attention, putting traditionally closed-door government and industry discussions under public scrutiny. The consensus is clear – we must do more. We must seize upon this pioneering spirit and build lasting momentum and leadership if we are to avoid reaching a climate change point of no return.

At Signify we’ve made a commitment to becoming carbon neutral in all our operations in 2020 – and we’re well on our way. That is why we are calling on European Governments to bring forward the deadline for European carbon neutrality to 2050. We think it’s achievable.

Together with the members of The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group and signatories to Step Up Now, we believe that to stay within the boundaries of the Paris Agreement, we need to accelerate efforts to achieve a carbon neutral future and put climate change at the top of the EU agenda. This will also unlock social and economic benefits for European citizens, boost job creation and stimulate social cohesion, steering us to a fairer, more inclusive Europe. This would be the best legacy we can leave for future generations.

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EurActiv, 8 May 2019: Carbon neutrality by 2050 makes sense