• International Workplace
  • 8 October 2019

A third of businesses have no plan to meet carbon-neutral target

Carbon emissions targets set by Theresa May mean that the UK’s carbon dioxide emissions will need to be cut by 2050, and those remaining will have to be offset with new technology such as carbon capture and storage. But is anyone actually acting?

New YouGov B2B polling shows that just under half (46%) of businesses in the UK have made plans to go carbon neutral by 2050 – with one in eight (14%) of businesses set to kick their carbon emissions in the next year. One in ten (8%) business people say their company is already carbon neutral.

However, despite the new rules, a third (31%) of businesses say they have no plans to be net carbon neutral at all. But in contrast, over half (59%) of business people think that business and industry can be an effective force in combating climate change.

Despite a third of businesses not planning to go carbon-free, the vast majority of business people (92%) say they believe the climate is changing and that humans are at least somewhat responsible, with just 2% responding they do not believe the climate was changing at all.

Through the Climate Change Act, the government has committed to:

  • reduce emissions by at least 100% of 1990 levels (net zero) by 2050; ad
  • contribute to global emission reductions, to limit global temperature rise to as little as possible above 2°C.

To meet these targets, the government has set five-yearly carbon budgets, which currently run until 2032. They restrict the amount of greenhouse gas the UK can legally emit in a five-year period. The UK is currently in the third carbon budget period (2018 to 2022).


See YouGov’s full results here.