The likes of Coca-Cola, Tesco and Sky have today (14 January) called on the Scottish Parliament to “seize the chance to renew their position as climate leader” by achieving carbon-neutrality by 2050.
It comes as a survey of 300 businesses shows that more than half (53%) of large firms in Scotland believe the response to climate change presents an economic opportunity.
Commenting on the findings, commissioned by WWF Scotland, the organisation’s deputy director Sam Gardner said: “These polling results are striking and show that the Scottish spirit of adapting and innovating in response to global challenges is alive and well in our business community.
“Businesses are recognising that to thrive into the future the challenge of climate change must be tackled head on and embraced.”
Scotland is widely regarded as a global leader of the low-carbon transition, having halved its carbon footprint since 1990 and abated its industrial sector at a faster rate than the rest of the UK.
The country is currently seeking the Committee on Climate Change’s (CCC) advice on how best to set a “pathway” to carbon-neutrality, after the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) landmark report concluded that global carbon pollution will need to reach zero by 2050 if the global temperature increase is to be kept below 1.5C.
Scotland has deployed the world’s first floating wind farm, delivering electricity to the Scottish grid. The country’s largest solar farm has also received the green light, alongside the announcement of plans to phase out new polluting petrol and diesel vehicles by 2032.
Among the 11 high-profile businesses calling for Scottish Parliament to step up action on climate change include Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP), which has a manufacturing site in East Kilbride that uses 100% renewable electricity.
CCEP’s head of sustainability Nick Brown praised Scotland’s efforts to deliver a resource-efficient economy, saying: “We welcome the introduction of a well-designed deposit return scheme in Scotland and across the whole of Great Britain in order to enable a true circular economy for our key packaging materials – so we can put more recycled content back into our packs, reduce waste and improve resource efficiencies.”