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UK companies pledge to tackle climate change

The largest companies in the United Kingdom, including the HSBC UK Pensions Scheme (UK) Ltd., have pledged hundreds of millions of pounds to tackle climate change during the government's first Green GB & NI Week.

"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," Energy and Clean Growth Minister Claire Perry said in an Oct. 16 statement.

The HSBC UK Pensions Scheme has committed to investing £250 million in solar parks and wind farms around the country. "The investment characteristics of inflation linked assets such as these are well suited to provide the income required to meet our long-term pension liabilities," said Russell Picot, chair of the trustee board.

Companies including ENGIE SA, Vattenfall AB, SSE PLC and Metropolitan pledged £320 million in investments to match government funding for low-carbon heating schemes for towns and cities across the U.K. Earlier in October, SSE also committed to reducing carbon intensity of electricity by a further 50% by 2030, based on 2018 levels.

EDF Energy, the biggest supplier of electricity by volume in Great Britain, also pledged to electrify its fleet by 2030. The company has about 1,500 vehicles in its fleet.

The U.K.'s modern industrial strategy calls for moving to a greener and cleaner economy. Renewables generate 30% of the country's electricity annually.