Google and Microsoft join more than 150 companies calling on the EU to tighten greenhouse gas emissions restrictions

FILE PHOTO: EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen presents the EU executive's economic response to the coronavirus epidemic, in Brussels, Belgium March 13, 2020. REUTERS/Johanna Geron
The declaration comes one day before EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen is set to deliver her 2020 address.

  • More than 150 major corporations and investors are calling on the EU to set more rigorous carbon emission targets.
  • In an open letter, companies including Google, Microsoft, Unilever, IKEA, and H&M are asking EU leaders to reduce domestic greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030.
  • The news comes one day before Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, is set to deliver her 2020 State of the Union, the annual address that sets the stage for policy initiatives the government will focus on. 
  • The initiative is led by the European Corporate Leaders Group, a group of European businesses advocating for more sustainable business and government practices.
  • In a statement, Lisa Jackson, vice president of environment, policy, and social initiatives at Apple, said, “The choice between a healthy planet and good business strategy has always been a false one, and we’ve proved that with a company that runs on 100% clean energy and a supply chain transitioning to do the same.” 
  • The move is part of a larger trend away from shareholder primacy, or the idea that a company’s sole responsibility is to drive profit, and toward stakeholder capitalism, which says corporate leaders must be responsible to all stakeholders, including the environment.
  • EU greenhouse gas emissions decreased by 23% between 1990 and 2018, while the economy grew by 61% over the same period, per a government report.
  • Still, the summer of 2020 was one of the Earth’s hottest on record, and the US currently faces unprecedented wildfires, raising concerns over the dangers of climate change.  
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
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