Carbon cutting

Governments need to take more decisive and coordinated action to reduce carbon emissions, according to a report by the Carbon Disclosure Project and AEA Technology.


Governments need to take more decisive and co-ordinated action to reduce carbon emissions, according to a report by the Carbon Disclosure Project and AEA Technology.


The report surveyed 58 companies, including Nissan, Ford and Centrica, to determine how current economic conditions will impact global efforts to establish a low-carbon economy.


Results revealed that 97 per cent of senior managements feel government intervention is a key factor in stimulating change.


The survey also suggested that current economic difficulties would not sideline green issues, with the majority stating that they would not reduce their budgets in this area.


Paul Dickinson, chief executive of the Carbon Disclosure Project, said: ‘Business operations don’t stop at national boundaries and internationally co-ordinated policy drivers are essential.


‘Business is calling for these policies now, irrespective of the current economic challenges we are facing.’


According to Robert Bell, operations director of AE, there is currently significant business interest in governments creating a common international framework in which low-carbon markets can operate.


He said: ‘The creation of a low-carbon economy remains at the heart of the international business agenda, in spite of the worldwide recession.


‘Our research shows that the business community wants governments to put in place an internationally recognised regulatory framework in which we can cut carbon emissions consistently and effectively across the planet.’


Among the most popular recommendations in the report were tax incentives and grants for the deployment of low-carbon technologies.


A number of companies suggested that government subsidies for the fossil-fuel industry should be scrapped completely.


Companies also indicated that if governments are willing to invest in new technologies, either through directly funding research through universities or protecting intellectual property rights, they will be able to continue investing in carbon-reduction initiatives.


Centrica stated: ‘Government is relying on the private sector to deliver much of the investment needed to meet our climate-change targets.


‘Centrica is willing to increase our investments in low-carbon and renewable energy sources, as well as energy-efficiency measures.


‘Government, however, needs to facilitate these investments by ensuring policy and fiscal stability so that investors are clear of the government’s ambitions in this area and have confidence that these ambitions will be unswerving.’


To view the full report go to www.cdproject.net