Anglian Water has joined 70 companies from five continents in signing the Trillion Tonne communiqué, which urges governments to put policies in place to prevent the cumulative emission of more than a trillion tonnes of carbon.

The communiqué, coordinated by the Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group, calls for a ‘rapid and focused response’ to the threat of rising global carbon emissions, and the ‘disruptive climate impacts’ inevitably associated with them. Failure to limit the stock of carbon in the atmosphere would risk increasingly serious climate impacts.

The latest climate science suggests we are likely to experience longer and more frequent heat waves, increased extreme rainfall events, flooding and rising sea levels. This will have real and significant impacts on economies and societies, particularly in dry areas such as the Anglian Water region with its long coastline, significant areas of land below sea level, and growing population.

Specifically the Communiqué calls on governments to:
• Set a timeline for achieving net zero emissions before the end of the century
• Design a credible strategy to transform the energy system
• Create a plan to manage reliance on fossil fuels, especially coal

Chris Gerrard, Anglian Water’s Climate Change and Biodiversity Manager, said: “As a region with a huge coastline and a significant proportion of land below sea level, we’re in the frontline of a changing climate. More regular droughts and more intense storms are all possibilities under current climate projections.

“We must take steps to prepare for these eventualities, but we’ll also work tirelessly to reduce our own carbon emissions by developing renewable energy schemes to power our water recycling facilities, and minimising the amount of carbon embedded in our construction projects.”

The communiqué has so far been signed by 70 companies, including major multinationals like Acciona, Adidas, CalSTRS, EDF Energy, ING, Mars, Shell, TetraPak, and Unilever, with a collective turnover of at least $90bn.

Eliot Whittington, Deputy Director of The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group, said: “This communiqué sends a clear message from business at a critical time, when events in the Ukraine have refocused global attention on energy security, and just as the scientific consensus reminds us all of the imperative of collective action.”