Anglian Water CEO joins fellow business leaders in call to PM to deliver strong domestic leadership on climate strategy
20 September 2021
Anglian Water CEO Peter Simpson has lent his voice to a letter to the Prime Minister Boris Johnson from UK business leaders, calling for coherent climate strategy in the countdown to COP26.
The letter was coordinated by the UK Business Group Alliance for Net Zero (BGA). Peter joins more than 80 businesses including Anglian Water, United Utilities, Waterwise, Costain, BT, Coca-Cola, Tesco, JLL, Santander, Unilever, ScottishPower, the Co-op and Heathrow, in calling on Boris Johnson to show strong domestic leadership that can help deliver global progress on climate change.
As hosts of November’s UN climate summit, the UK is being urged to seize opportunities to demonstrate its commitment to addressing the climate-nature crisis in the context of the IPCC’s warning that we have entered a ‘code red for humanity’.
The letter sets out the leaders’ support for climate action and highlight the need for the UK Government to lay out a coherent, integrated and Treasury-supported Net Zero Strategy. It urges the Prime Minister to align economic and fiscal policy with its decarbonisation strategy in order to build confidence for businesses to act at speed and scale, while sending a clear message to the world that the UK is taking a concerted leadership position on climate change.
Peter Simpson, CEO, Anglian Water, and Co-Chair of the Corporate Leaders Group in the UK (CLG UK), said:
“The government can be reassured that UK businesses share its ambition to deliver net zero transition at pace. In the water sector, for example, we’re committed to delivering net zero by 2030 and delivering it in a way that supports our communities and the environment.”
“At Anglian Water we’ve made huge progress on decarbonisation since 2010, with a track record and a routemap so credible that, in a world first, we’ve secured £300 million of sustainability-linked finance tied to achieving our net zero goals.
“And we recognise, too, that in parallel with mitigation, we need to adapt our infrastructure, so that our communities and our environment can thrive. That’s why we’re creating our flagship strategic pipeline, up to 500km long, to carry water from areas of relative abundance right through to the south and east where water is already scarce. Our plans are ambitious, because they need to be.
“We’re determined to play our part in transitioning at pace to a sustainable future. Just how quickly we’ll get there depends in part on clarity of direction and a joined-up approach from government. So I join my voice with my fellow signatories in offering our wholehearted support for bold, transformative action as we head towards COP26.”
The letter states: “A successful summit that achieves the UK Presidency’s goals requires strong UK leadership combining effective diplomacy with credible outcomes, including international solidarity with countries lacking the resources to tackle these challenges alone.
“The countdown to COP26 gives you a limited window to show such leadership. You must seize key opportunities like the upcoming Net Zero Strategy. To get results across the economy, this strategy will need strong support from HM Treasury through the Net Zero and Comprehensive Spending Reviews. You will also need to align other government policies and action across transport, housing, our natural environment and our international aid budget.
“As businesses invested in the future of the UK, we know these steps can deliver long-term benefits for people, nature and climate. We call for an ambitious strategy from government with a clear timetable, detailed policy measures, market mechanisms and messaging on a sector-by-sector basis.”
The letter, coordinated by the UK Business Group Alliance for Net Zero (BGA), also warns that the UK Government’s failure to act decisively on climate change will carry much greater risks and costs.