‘Net zero delayed, but renewable energy soars high amidst Ukraine war’

Nearly half of business executives in Europe and the US are anticipating a setback of up to three years in reaching their net zero emissions targets, according to a new survey

Almost half of business leaders in Europe and the US anticipate that the ongoing war in Ukraine will cause a delay of two to three years in achieving global net zero goals, according to a study by BayWa r.e.

However, 96% of business leaders are either already sourcing, or planning to source, renewables, with over half stating that rising energy prices have positively impacted their sustainability ambitions.

Public recognition of the urgency of the situation has also increased, with “climate change“, “climate crisis”, “climate action” and “carbon emissions” surging in online discourse.

Barriers to achieving net zero differ between business leaders and policymakers, according to the survey.

Business leaders cited a lack of government support (34%), government policy (29%) and cost (42%) as the biggest obstacles.

Policymakers, on the other hand, believed public understanding (35%), the speed at which businesses can adapt (35%) and cost (33%) were the biggest barriers.

BayWa r.e.’s ‘The Decade That Matters 2.0’ study surveyed 3,000 business leaders and policymakers across Europe, the UK, and the US, while also analysing online discourse.

It showed that although the direction of travel was towards renewable energy, 57% of business leaders believe the transition would not happen until 2050 or later, with 8% believing it would never be fully achieved.

In contrast, over a third of policymakers (35%) believed the transition would occur during the 2030s, with only 11% saying after 2050.

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