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Business ‘largely unready’ for carbon reduction laws

Over half of UK bosses have yet to address the impact of climate change regulations on the way they do business, it was revealed last week.

And more than 40% say they need help to understand the impact of new laws regulating carbon emissions reduction. News that business was largely unprepared for climate change regulation emerged in a survey commissioned for Prince Charles’ third May Day Climate Change Summit last Friday.    

The survey was commissioned by Prince Charles’ charity Business in the Community and sponsored by United Utilities (UU) and law firm DLA Piper. It took place in March and April and involved interviews with 1,695 employees, including 266 decision makers.    

United Utilities chief executive Phillip Green and EDF chief executive Vincent De Rivaz, pledged to help their supply chains address climate change and in particular to be prepared for the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC). Under the CRC which becomes mandatory in April 2010, 5,000 organisations including government departments, local authorities, water companies, Network Rail, major retailers and the National Health Service, will have to buy C02 emission allowances at £12/t. If they fail to buy enough they will have to buy on the open market.    The May Day survey revealed that 71% of bosses, including directors and board members were unaware that their companies are affected by the new mandatory compliance.    

Green was disappointed with the results but added that the campaign to raise climate change awareness was still in its infancy. “I’m depressed by the number of boardrooms in the country that still haven’t woken up to the climate change challenge,” said Green. “But we are in the foothills of the movement and it is still early days.”    

“We have to help those 5,000 companies to understand how it will work to have the right data ready and some tips for effective reduction,” said De Rivaz.      

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