Carbon trading seen as confusing initiative by UK business

Survey reveals “Carbon jargon” is seen as a smoke screen clouding real issues

04 July 2007

A survey carried out by Loudhouse Research Consultancy on behalf of Kyocera and paper manufacturers M-Real has found that 47% of the UK’s large organisations see carbon trading as a confusing initiative that lacks any real value in pursuing carbon emission reductions.

A further 24% of respondents thought that “carbon bargaining” was a poorly conceived idea that diverts attention from the root causes of climate change. The survey was carried out among 340 directors, buyers and employees at UK organisations with more that 1000 employees. Only 14% of respondents claimed to have a clear understanding of carbon trading, and 27% had no understanding of it at all. Tracey Rawling Church, Marketing Director at Kyocera UK, commented: “This research demonstrates that despite the enormous hype surrounding the issue of carbon bargaining, the majority of UK organisations have recognised that it is not a “fix-all” solution to emissions management. This is encouraging, as it demonstrates that decision makers are refusing to be swayed by greenwashing and are more likely to be persuaded by meaningful action to reduce environmental impact rather than reactions to excuse it by carbon trading.” The research also showed that company directors are more likely to be sceptical of carbon trading than their junior counterparts, with 33% dismissing it as a “poorly conceived idea” compared with 20% of buyers and 19% of office workers. Tracey Rawling Church continues: “The idea that organisations can “buy” the right to pollute or assuage corporate guilt by planting some trees diverts attention from what should be the real priority – reducing emissions in the first place. Carbon offsetting and trading has their place, but they are in danger of becoming a panacea for conspicuous commercial consumption. ”

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