Businesses urge more ambitious renewables targets

The European Union’s (EU’s) “inconsistent, vague and unambitious” renewable energy targets are stifling investment, according to a group of 15 leading companies.

The group – which includes BT, EDF and Google – has called on the EU to set more ambitious renewables targets that go beyond the non-binding 27% target for 2030. EU policies are slowing the transition to a low-carbon economy, the group added.

Its comments came in a report entitled 21st century energy: Business reflections on renewables in Europe, which was published by The Prince of Wales’ Corporate Leadership Group

‘Stable and ambitious policies’

Nigel Stansfield, President for Europe, the Middle East & Africa at carpet tile maker Interface, said: “Supporting businesses to transition to renewable energy is crucial for promoting growth and jobs in a sustainable economy.

“We need more consistent policy implementation across the union, a framework for an integrated energy market, and stronger enforcement.”

Swedish furniture retailer Ikea added: “We need stable and ambitious policies since any uncertainty can hamper or delay corporate investments. This would enable us to realise our investments faster.”

Hindering investment

Jill Duggan, Director of the Corporate Leaders Group, said: “Leading companies from across Europe are telling us that weak renewables targets hinder investment in cleaner energy, and lack of clarity at member state level hampers decision-making.

“What the majority of these companies want is ambitious member state targets for renewable energy to drive their investment and purchasing decisions.

“Those countries with the strongest targets will be the most attractive for inward investment.”

> Download the report