Almost half of businesses not confident in meeting 2030 decarbonisation targets
A new survey of business leaders has found that almost half are not confident that their short-term decarbonisation targets will be met, with many UK organisations citing a lack of political clarity as a major barrier to progress.
Around 1,400 senior executives in businesses operating across 22 countries were polled on progress to meet decarbonisation targets on behalf of technology firm Siemens.
The poll found that 45% of companies are expecting to miss their short-term targets for 2030. UK responses cited the risk of recession (25%), poor access to the right skills (20%), a lack of investment in public infrastructure (20%), a lack of private capital (20%) and limitations in the power grid (19%) as the major barriers to driving decarbonisation – all of which stem from political uncertainty.
At a global level, 44% expect to meet their 2030 targets, with 40% stating that they will likely hit their targets for this year.
Siemens UK & Ireland chief executive Carl Ennis said: “We must support business and industry to decarbonise if we are to successfully deliver the energy transition we need. Progress is being made, but it’s evident from these findings that the UK runs the risk of widening the gap between where we are and where we need to be if we don’t start thinking longer term.
“A clear industrial strategy is a key piece of the puzzle and would give businesses the confidence to invest meaningfully in cutting carbon, while boosting economic growth and productivity. Over the next few years, adopting clean energy technology and digitalisation software that can help accelerate the transition to net zero will become instrumental, and we need to give companies the right platform to do so.”
The survey was conducted and published prior to Wednesday’s (21 September) tumultuous announcement from UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak that some net-zero policies were being relaxed.
Businesses have responded negatively to the announcements and green groups have warned that they will stifle market competitiveness for UK companies trying to champion the net-zero transition. Read edie’s in-depth piece on what it means for businesses here.
Late last year, a survey of energy and sustainability managers at 148 organisations, conducted by edie, found that one-fifth are having to de-prioritise work related to the net-zero transition due to the current economic crisis. Click here to download your copy of the Barometer report.
One-fifth of respondents either agreed or strongly agreed that their organisation is being forced to de-prioritise work relating to the net-zero transition. Additionally, 11% said their organisation is more likely to miss its decarbonisation goals as a result of cost squeezes.
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