COP26: Half of the UK’s largest businesses pledge to net zero by 2050

The companies make up £1.2tn in market capital and join 2,000 smaller UK businesses in taking the pledge

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More than half of the UK’s largest businesses have pledged to stop their contributions to climate change by 2050 at COP26.

The 60 FTSE100 companies make up a total market capital of more than £1.2 trillion and have a combined annual turnover of £700 billion.

They have become signatories of the UN’s ‘Race to Zero’ campaign and have thus committed to achieving net zero by 2050.

This move means that net zero pledges from UK businesses have more than quadrupled in the last year and globally more than 5,200 companies have become a part of the ‘Race to Zero’ campaign.

In addition to these large companies, more than 2,000 smaller UK businesses have also committed to reducing emissions and joining the UN campaign.

The government has made clear that these climate pledges are not at the expense of economic growth, as between 1990 and 2019 the country’s economy grew by 78%, while carbon emissions fell by 44% – which is the fastest reduction in the G7.

Business and Industry Minister, Lee Rowley, commented: “Businesses both large and small, across all sectors of the global economy, have a crucial role to play in both reducing their environmental impact and developing the green technologies that will set us on the path to net zero.

“With over 2,500 UK companies joining the ‘Race to Zero’, including the majority of our largest firms, the UK is leading the way in showing how going green doesn’t just make sense for the planet – it makes business sense too.”