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UK lags behind Germany in renewable energy race

The UK is lagging behind Germany in the race to benefit from green and renewable business opportunities, according to the Carbon Trust.

By Renewable Energy Focus staff

A Carbon Trust investigation reveals that three times as many top UK decision makers believe Germany is better prepared than Britain to take advantage of the £3.2 trillion global environmental and renewable energy market.

CEO of the Carbon Trust, Tom Delay says: “Green growth is the only show in town. No other sector can drive the recovery. The consequences of British business failing to grasp this opportunity are almost too horrific to consider: anaemic growth, a jobless recovery and the risk of a return to the economics of boom and bust. We cannot afford to carry on as we did before.

“Businesses need to look beyond the short-term financial reporting cycle and place some smart, early bets on the future. Otherwise the cost, both to the UK’s economy and to the environment will be too great to ignore.”

Few grab the opportunity

The Carbon Trust survey finds that while 92% believe green growth represents an opportunity for their business, only a third are actually investing money in the research and development of green and renewable products and services.

Of those surveyed, the greatest numbers of decision-makers – 34% – believe that of all the nations, Germany is best prepared to benefit from green and renewable energy growth, whereas the UK is lagging far behind – with only one in eight citing the UK as the most prepared nation.

The Carbon Trust research suggests that ‘leadership’ is vital to any company seeking to take advantage of growth in the green economy. Three in four decision makers citing this as the number one requirement.

The majority of business leaders questioned – 77% – state that the key benefit of ‘going green’ is to enhance their corporate reputation.

However a third say that that having a ‘sustainable’ business plan can actually increase profits.

The environmental and low carbon market is worth over £112bn a year in the UK and employs over 900,000 people. It is forecast to grow by 25% over the next four year.

CBI comment

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) Director of Business Environment, Dr Neil Bentley, comments: “Unlocking green growth is one of the key challenges for businesses and the Government, and much more needs to be done to get us on track to meet our ambitious climate change targets.

“The Government must deliver the right policy framework to attract global investors to low-carbon projects.”

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