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Finance / Corporate strategy

Finance is biggest block to net zero, say senior executives

Companies insist they will struggle to achieve net-zero emissions without substantial support, according to research by UK lender Standard Chartered.

A lack of finance is the biggest barrier to companies transitioning to net zero, finds research by UK lender Standard Chartered.

In its Zeronomics report published in March 2021, the company spoke to senior business leaders and investors to test the waters on how they feel as corporate net-zero pledges become increasingly widespread. The majority cited a lack of funding as the greatest obstacle to meeting this challenge.

A Volkswagen (VW) e-Golf electric car charges at public parking. VW aims to be CO2-neutral by 2050. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Companies acknowledged corporate progress was too slow. Fifty-five per cent of companies said they were not transitioning fast enough and 78% of investors said most business leaders were failing to take the action needed to transition their company by 2050.

Carbon-intensive industries and emerging markets were cited as struggling most to raise the capital needed to transition.

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Perhaps most worryingly, net zero was seen by most survey respondents as not commercially viable. Sixty-four per cent of senior executives said they did believe the economics of operating as a net-zero organisation stacked up for their company.