Tue. Jul 5th, 2022

Introducing a UK carbon border adjustment mechanism (CBAM) is a welcome move, but it does not go far enough (“MPs call for carbon levy on imports to protect industry”, Report, April 4). The UK lacks a credible plan to drive net zero transition, so putting in place the right structures to encourage reduced carbon emissions is necessary.

Take the retail industry. Returns are indisputably terrible for the climate and on average 20 per cent of all online purchases are returned. Shipping goods back and forth creates needless greenhouse gas emissions, and an estimated £ 5bn of returned goods end up in landfills each year. The government needs to go a step further than a CBAM. It needs to hold specific industries to account and incentivize them to harness data to change for good.

Data and artificial intelligence should be used more to allow consumers to make educated decisions, both in terms of convenience and environment. For example, even the smallest adjustments to the operations of an online store creates a positive impact on the number of returns and therefore the environment. Ecommerce is here to stay, so we need to ensure it is sustainable.

All efforts to reduce carbon emissions to enable the UK to hit its 2050 net zero target must be encouraged – but we need politicians to think outside the box and act fast.

Sarita Runeberg
Business Development Director, Reactor Helsinki, Finland

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