UK tech sector urged to commit to carbon neutrality by 2050

Each signatory will be recognised as one of thousands of ‘climate leaders’ across the country

The UK’s technology sector is being urged to make a formal commitment to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.

In a letter signed by Andrew Griffith MP, the UK’s Net Zero Business Champion, organisations within the tech sector are being encouraged to familiarise themselves with guidance from the UK Business Climate Hub on implementing solutions for fighting climate change.

Griffith is also urging tech companies to formally commit to “cutting your carbon emissions in half by 2030 and to reach ‘net zero’ by 2050” by signing a pledge available on the Business Climate Hub’s website.

“By making this pledge, they will be joining an international community of thousands of like-minded businesses, and will be recognised by the United Nations Race to Zero campaign as one of thousands of ‘climate leaders’ across the country – companies that are acting as role models and inspiring others in the community to find meaningful ways to take positive environmental action. As part of this, they will get regular newsletters and information from [the] government to support them through their net zero journey,” he wrote in the letter.

Since being appointed to the role in November 2020, Griffith’s responsibilities have included supporting the UK’s business community to make credible plans to achieve net-zero emissions goals. This week, he has also addressed letters to the manufacturing and retail sectors to commit to taking the pledge of fighting climate change.

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However, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy wasn’t immediately available for comment as to whether the letter will lead to any formal policies being implemented to curb carbon emissions.

The letter comes weeks after Griffith, alongside Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng, launched the ‘Business Climate Leaders’ campaign, which aims to support small businesses in reducing their carbon footprint.

The past few months have seen a number of tech companies achieve their sustainability goals. On 15 April, Facebook announced that its global operations are now powered by 100% renewable energy, while a similar announcement, yet on a smaller, European scale, followed from Vodafone on 1 July.

Two weeks later, Google Cloud announced an update to its data centre region picker which allows customers to select a region based on its CO2 output, while Microsoft launched Cloud for Sustainability, an initiative that aims to help the company and its customers meet their carbon reduction and sustainability goals by recording, reporting, and reducing emissions on their path to net zero.

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