Climate action surging on German companies' agendas as EU Green Deal splits opinions
Concerns about climate and the environment have climbed significantly on the agenda of German companies over the last year, a survey conducted by consultancy EY and the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy among 400 businesses has found. The number of companies calling climate change and environmental damage one of Europe's largest challenges has almost tripled since last year to 27 percent, newspaper Die Welt reports. Wuppertal Institute head Manfred Fischedick said the shift among companies had been "remarkable”, with climate change and measures to abate it having become "a key playing field for companies" that hope to make a viable business model out of emissions reduction and other measures included in the European Green Deal.
Bernhard Lorentz, of EY, said it became clear that "a complete restructuring of industry, energy, transport and agriculture is necessary and that policymakers increasingly appear willed to implement far-reaching measures." Of the surveyed companies, 23 percent expect the transformation to have negative impacts on their business and 44 percent said Europe will be weakened by a transformation towards a low-carbon economy, whereas 37 percent expect it to be beneficial.
The EU's Green Deal, which is meant to unlock synergies between emissions reduction and economic growth, is the bloc's key policy instrument for its aim of making the economy greenhouse gas neutral by 2050. It has been also hailed as an ideal vehicle for strengthening economic recovery in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. But many companies also fear they stand to lose against international competitors if environmental regulation in the EU goes much further than in other world regions.