British companies ‘last in Europe’ in spending on low carbon business processes, survey by Carbon Disclosure Project finds
UK corporations contributed only three per cent of Europe’s investment in carbon-cutting technologies last year, a survey among members of the Carbon Disclosure Project reveals.
Its ‘Doubling Down’ report analyses carbon-cutting budgets declared for 2019 by CDP members operating in high-emitting sectors such as energy, transport and construction materials.
Across the continent, corporate spending committed by the sample’s 882 members to carbon mitigation amounted to £102 billion (€124bn).
Those commitments need to double if Europe’s goals of net zero carbon emissions are to be reached by mid-century, said Steven Tebbe, CDP Europe’s managing director. To get back on track, Europe’s economies must decarbonise by eight per cent every year this decade.
The study found that 69 German-domiciled CDP members declared green investments totalling £37 Bn (€44bn). But Britain’s 194 member firms surveyed between them managed only £4bn.
No British concern features in Europe’s top ten carbon cutting companies. Manufacturers and utilities committed to innovating renewable energy and electric vehicles performed best; Volkswagen, for example, accounted on its own for one third of the German total.
The report suggests that the UK’s sale of its much of utility sector to overseas investors may contribute to a domestic corporate culture which fails to prioritise carbon-cutting.
Difficulties in evaluating low carbon investments, fear of disrupting established business models, untested technologies, and the absence of trusted carbon prices, are among other important barriers to companies investing in decarbonisation measures, states the CDP report.