Call for coherent policies towards a net zero and inclusive economy

Press release The Shift

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135 businesses and civil society organisations are calling on future government leaders in Belgium and Europe to adopt bold and coherent policies that continue on the path towards a net zero, nature-positive and inclusive economy.

In a remarkable show of unity, 135 companies and civil society organisations, all members of the Belgian sustainability network The Shift, signed an open letter urging future government leaders in Belgium and Europe to continue on the path towards a net zero, nature-positive and equitable economy. They stress the social and economic benefits of the European Green Deal and make it clear that procrastination is not an option.

From business and civil society, there is a need for bold and coherent policies to further facilitate the transition and make it the obvious choice for all. There is only one way forward. People expect a policy that makes ecological choices and investments the most obvious and cheapest. A government that removes barriers, provides legal certainty and supports the transition to a sustainable economy. A transition that is fair and does not overlook anyone.

The EU Strategic Agenda for the next legislature should continue on the course set with an Industrial Deal (Antwerp Declaration) aligned with it.

Since 2015, The Shift has functioned as the Belgian sustainability network, unique in its kind because of the diversity of its members: businesses, civil society, academic and public institutions. All actors are needed to build a new economy and society together. By bringing organisations from various sectors together with colleagues, experts and regulators, The Shift harnesses the power of the whole society to tackle the complex sustainability issues that one cannot solve within one's own four walls. Furthermore, The Shift is the national contact point for the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and the B Corp movement.

"Montea has adopted the ambitious objectives of the EU Green Deal. We call on government leaders to do the same and create policies that make ecological choices self-evident." - Dirk Van Buggenhout, Chief Sustainability Officer Montea

"Sustainability is a business case and should be considered as such. Since our sustainability strategy, we have experienced continuous sustainable growth."
- Peter Garré, Managing Director Bopro

"In our Flemish projects, the shelter of young refugees is central. Refugees are in the frontline of the climate crisis, many are forced to leave an environment that is increasingly difficult to live in. Also with them in mind, we must place sustainability high on the agenda."
- Katrien Goossens, Director of Flemish Projects SOS Kinderdorpen

The signatories also point out that long-term policies take time. Not acting would cost the Belgian economy €5-10 billion a year. At the same time, the National Bank of Belgium calculated that the macroeconomic costs of the transition are manageable.

Together, the 135 signatories are thereby sending a strong, positive signal in support of a continuation of the EU Green Deal and an aligned Industrial Deal.

The Shift

The Shift is a unique network of 580 organisations, including companies from different sectors and organisations from the public, academic and non-profit sector. Together, we believe that only by joining forces, across different sectors, we can accelerate the transition towards a net zero, inclusive, fair and nature-positive economy.

Journalists can contact
Karen Galle - The Shift
+32 485 922 002

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