signed by the heads of 12 companies with a combined turnover of £452 billion (approx. $825 billion USD) asks Britain's prime minister to create long-term policies to address global warming. They call the current situation a Catch 22: "Governments [are] nervous of clamping down on climate change emissions for fear of a backlash from business." These big businesses claim that they would support a policy to cut 60% of CO2 emissions by 2050, and that this measure would only reduce economic growth 2% by 2050. They even go as far as to say that bold policy moves could boost their profit by making Britain a world leader in "low carbon technology".The group say some of the technologies to achieve this goal already exist but need to be developed. Some are yet to be invented.
They point to a study showing that even if the UK starts seriously developing the market for zero emissions cars now, total emissions from cars will not start to fall until 2040.
The business leaders demand that the government establishes a long-term value for carbon emissions reductions and consistently supports and provides incentives for the development of new technologies.
They say the prime minister's presidency this year of both G8 and the EU offers an historic opportunity for a breakthrough on climate.
At home the group say the government should eliminate contradictory policies that lead to increase in CO2 - such as out of town developments.
They say ministers should make sure no new policies on any topic will fuel climate change.
::Industry chiefs' environment plea & ::Text of the letter