It might make the anarchist, socialist and anti-royalist protestors preparing for their annual May Day bank holiday protest even madder than usual, but the Prince of Wales chose the 1st of May for the launch of a new initiative designed to encourage UK businesses to curb carbon emissions.
Speaking today to an audience of 1,200 business leaders at a climate summit at St James' Palace, the Prince attempted to whip up some revolutionary fervour of his own, issuing a "mayday" alert to businesses and warning them that "the crisis of climate change is far too urgent and discussion simply isn't enough".
He also argued that all businesses could and should play a role in addressing climate change by "first[ly], tackling the emissions for which they are responsible, secondly, encouraging their suppliers and business customers to take action of their own, and, thirdly, designing products and services which will help their customers to reduce the emissions associated with their use".
The summit marked the launch of a new May Day Company campaign, backed by Business in the Community and The Carbon Trust, which will see UK businesses, including the 1,200 attending the summit, pledge to reduce their carbon emissions.
Those firms signing up to the scheme will receive best practice support and advice from the Carbon Trust and Business in the Community and will have their progress in cutting carbon emissions monitored on a new website: www.maydaycompany.org.uk
"In many ways business has been at the forefront of the efforts to tackle climate change," said Julia Cleverdon, CEO of Business in the Community. "But the issue is so serious that we need more than the efforts of individual companies and the personal commitment of individual business leaders. The Summit will provide a focus for collective business action on climate change – harnessing the power of business to change their operating practices and use their positive influence with their suppliers and customers"
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