Corporate world 'way off track' in dealing with the climate crisis, business chief warns

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Village of Mora in the province of Toledo, Castilla la Mancha, Spain, Europe.
Are businesses failing to engage with climate change? (Getty)

The business world is “way off track” in tackling the climate crisis, the head of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has warned. 

He also called for more detail on government plans to switch to wind power, in an effort to tempt global investors to spend money in the UK. 

Tony Danker, director general of the CBI, told the Road to Zero conference: “Tackling the planet’s climate crisis before it’s too late has always been a seismic challenge demanding global cooperation on an unprecedented scale.

“The world has no room for failure. The climate crisis is worsening and currently we’re way off track.”

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Danker said current government plans to reduce emissions were too vague and called for politicians to “fill in the blanks”, The Guardian reported.

Danker called for more detail on plans to phase out gas boilers in homes, and on plans for new offshore wind farms. 

Danker told the newspaper: “I think [Boris Johnson’s] 10-point plan is very good, but it does not have quite enough detail. We need a blueprint to build, to make sure we move from ambition to action.

"Companies are alert and keen to play in Britain, but they are now saying they need more granularity to make real investment decisions.”

Last year, the prime minister pledged that offshore wind farms would generate enough electricity to power every home in the UK within a decade.

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Last year, Britain broke the record for the longest run without using coal to generate electricity, driven in part by lockdown measures. 

In April 2020, power demand was almost a fifth lower (18%) than in the same period in 2019, while windy and sunny weather drove renewable energy to new heights, enabling grid operators to avoid using coal.

Over 18 days, renewables were the largest source of electricity, producing 37% of Britain’s power, according to analysis by Carbon Brief. 

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Coal has played an increasingly small role in Britain’s power mix in recent years, with a government target to phase it out altogether by 2024, and saw its share of generation fall to just 2% in 2019. 

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