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04 December 2020

A commitment to become a net zero business by 2030

Dan Labbad, CEO of The Crown Estate, discusses that in all the uncertainty and disruption of the pandemic, we can’t afford to lose sight of the looming and no less urgent crises facing our planet, climate, natural environment and ultimately society.

This article first appeared in Estates Gazette.

 

This has been a historic year on so many levels. Undoubtedly, the massive and ongoing impact of Covid-19 is the most drastic and obvious of these and its seismic impact continues to be felt right across our communities. Yet, in all the uncertainty and disruption of the pandemic, we can’t afford to lose sight of the looming and no less urgent crises facing our planet, climate, natural environment and ultimately society.  These challenges, albeit less intrusive in most day-to-day lives, are no less urgent.

The United States’ intention to re-join the Paris Agreement starts to re-forge a global consensus on climate change. Together with the ambitious 10 point plan for a green industrial revolution from Government this month, we now have significant momentum behind the UK’s presidency of the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow in autumn next year.

So I’m delighted to announce our commitment to align our business to the 1.5°C climate scenario set out in the Paris Agreement, with a target to be a net zero business by 2030 and climate positive thereafter.

The systemic crisis facing our climate does not stand alone; it’s matched by the existential crisis in our natural world and these cannot be looked at in isolation. As well decarbonising our portfolio across the country, we will seek new solutions to restore the natural world by providing and protecting habitats and taking action to remove carbon from the atmosphere.

By addressing ecological resilience and climate change together we will maximise the potential of the nation’s seabed as a source of clean energy and promote healthy seas and ecosystems; we will ensure Windsor Great Park and our rural portfolio reach their potential to help reinvigorate the nation’s ecological fabric; and we will find new ways to bring wildlife back to our places and cities.

Meeting this goal will be tough and we make this commitment today knowing that we don’t have all the answers. We cannot do this alone and we will need to work with our many customers and partners who share our ambitions. There will be big challenges to solve along the way and there’s so much to play for when it comes to innovation in technology and digital, where big strides will be needed.

What I do know, is that society will judge us not on the commitment we make today, but on how we deliver against it over time. That’s why we will be open about our progress and upfront, when we encounter challenges along the way. It’s why we are committed to investing to support our goal and challenging ourselves to work as hard and as fast as we can towards it, adjusting accordingly if we need to, as we understand the opportunities and challenges further in the years ahead.

We know we’re not the only ones on this journey. Now, more than ever, we’re all in this together. Only by collaborating, sharing, learning and encouraging each other in an open and honest way to do more and do better, we will forge a new future that will afford those who come after us, the opportunity to enjoy at least the same quality of life and hope that we do today.  

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