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Major UK companies, including banks and retailers, are pledging to invest hundreds of millions of British pounds to cut their carbon footprint and to support new energies, the UK government said on Tuesday.
A total of 30 UK businesses, including financial services and high street retailers, are pledging investments in various emission-cutting initiatives from installing solar panels on office building rooftops to replacing diesel trucks with bio-methane trucks.
Some of the pledges announced today include HSBC UK Pensions Scheme investing US$329 million (250 million pounds) into the UK’s solar parks and wind farms. Retailer John Lewis Partnership will replace its 500-strong diesel delivery truck fleet with bio-methane clean machines by 2028, cutting emissions by the equivalent of the carbon footprint of 6,000 UK households. Amazon has signed a deal to power its UK buildings with 100-percent renewable energy. EDF Energy, the UK’s largest producer of low-carbon electricity and the biggest supplier of electricity by volume in Great Britain, has committed to electrifying its own fleet of around 1,500 vehicles by 2030.
The UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy announced on Tuesday up to US$9.2 million (£7 million) in funding to encourage smaller businesses to take up energy efficiency projects under a plan to be launched in the spring of 2019.
“Governments cannot confront this unprecedented global challenge alone,” Energy and Clean Growth Minister Claire Perry said.
“We need businesses around the world to step up to the mark and today our largest companies are leading the way, making significant pledges worth millions to cut emissions while continuing to grow the green economy,” Perry noted.
The UK government said on Monday that it would ask climate experts to advise it on whether the country should set a date for a net zero emissions target.
According to government estimates, the UK already has nearly 400,000 jobs in the low-carbon economy and this could quadruple to around 2 million ‘green collar’ jobs by 2030, generating up to US$223.5 billion (£170 billion) of annual exports.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.