The anticipation surrounding the recent Budget was palpable, with many hoping it would clarify the UK’s intentions regarding the implementation of the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM). Regrettably, this opportunity was not seized, leaving the business community largely in the dark. 

In the wake of recent policy reversals, confusion persists among both consumers and businesses about the UK’s path towards a green transition. Although there have been strides towards fostering greener supply chains, a significant journey remains to achieve the UK’s ambitious 2050 net-zero targets. For substantial progress, businesses need assurance that regulatory frameworks will stay consistent, enabling the seamless integration of sustainability into their strategic planning. 

The move towards more sustainable supply chains requires significant investment and thorough planning. This critical issue cannot afford to be sidelined.  

Above all, businesses of every scale, from the smallest startups to vast multinationals, seek certainty. This assurance is crucial for them to confidently invest in and broaden their green innovations. There is a clear call to the government: to clarify the UK’s stance on CBAM, so businesses can plan ahead for its implementation alongside similar initiatives in place across the EU and more widely, and to express its support for long-term, capital-heavy sustainability projects. This includes backing for initiatives aimed at carbon footprint reduction and programmes designed to equip the workforce for the green jobs of tomorrow. 

This plea to the government extends beyond just financial injections into net-zero projects. It encompasses a wider call for action that includes enhancing infrastructure to support a low-carbon future, advancing research and innovation for more resilient and adaptable supply chains, and, fundamentally, nurturing a sustainable economy that can flourish amidst the challenges posed by climate change. 

As the UK strides towards its net-zero goal by 2050, the business sector sends a clear message: clarity, commitment, and concrete support from the government are essential. Without these, the transition to a sustainable economy risks faltering, jeopardising not only the UK’s environmental goals but also its economic future in a greener world. 

Author: Judith Richardson, Head of Sustainability, Argon & Co UK 

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Judith Richardson

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