Reducing our carbon emissions is one of the most important things we can do to protect our planet. But what might be surprising is that, according to a new survey, nearly two-thirds of micro-business owners in the UK haven’t even tried to cut back on their emissions.
The poll of 1,000 micro-business owners carried out by YouGov found that just 33% have tried to cut their emissions in the last 12 months.
And of those who have tried, just a quarter (24%) say they have successfully reduced their emissions.
So what’s holding these businesses back?
The most common reason micro-business owners cite for not reducing their emissions is that they don’t think they can make a difference (38%).
This is closely followed by the belief that it would be too expensive to make changes (37%).
Other reasons include not knowing where to start (19%) and thinking that it’s not really their responsibility (17%).
Still, most would support government action to reduce emissions
Interestingly, the poll also found that most micro-businesses would support government action to reduce emissions.
Two-thirds (66%) say they would back measures such as a tax on high-emitting businesses, while a similar proportion (64%) say they would support a new petrol and diesel cars ban by 2030.
So it’s clear that there is both a desire and a willingness among micro-businesses to do more to reduce their emissions.
But the question remains: why aren’t they doing more?
Part of the problem may be that many micro-businesses simply don’t realize the full scale of the climate crisis.
According to the survey, just over half (54%) of micro-business owners say they understand the term climate change.
But when asked to rate their knowledge of the issue on a scale of 1 to 10, the average score was just 5.4. This suggests that there is still much work to be done to raise awareness of the issue among micro-businesses.
But it’s not just a lack of awareness holding businesses back.
The survey also found that many micro-businesses don’t believe they are responsible for reducing their emissions.
Just over a third (35%) say that businesses should only be responsible for their own emissions. In comparison, a further 17% say that companies should be responsible for reducing their emissions but that it’s not their problem.
This is a worrying attitude, particularly in light of the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, which warned that we have just 12 years to take decisive action to avoid catastrophic climate change.
The report found that to have any chance of avoiding a temperature rise of more than 1.5°C, we need to make “unprecedented” cuts to our emissions.
But with so many businesses still unwilling to take action, it’s clear that we need to do more to convince them of the situation’s urgency.
Payment industry guru Taylor Cole is a passionate payments expert who understands the complex world of EMI UK. He also writes non-fiction, on subjects ranging from personal finance to stocks to cryptopay. He enjoys eating pie with ice-cream on his backyard porch, as should all right-thinking people.