New Patch Survey Finds Climate Knowledge Correlates To Greater Confidence In Carbon Credits

New Report Examines Carbon Credits, Public And Private Funding Roles In The Net Zero Future - Carbon Herald
Credit: Katrina_S | Pixabay

A new survey from climate action company Patch finds a clear link between climate education, corporate climate progress, and value placed in carbon credits. Business leaders with more advanced sustainability knowledge see the value of paying 82% more on average for high-integrity credits than those newer to the industry. These advanced leaders are also participating in the carbon market in a more impactful way, with 24% of these businesses reportedly having purchased over 100,000 tonnes worth of carbon credits.

“The most knowledgeable climate actors are still convinced in the effectiveness of carbon credits,” said Brennan Spellacy, CEO & Co-founder of Patch. “Experienced sustainability leaders, as well as the scientists who authored the latest UN climate report, agree the world needs to scale carbon removal and avoidance to stabilise global temperature rise.”

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The survey polled over 300 senior decision makers working in sustainability at companies with over 1,000 employees in the UK, France, and Germany. Across the board, the key trend remained the same: with more climate experience comes a better understanding and higher value placed on climate finance incentives like carbon credits to achieve global climate goals.

  • German sustainability leaders have reportedly made the greatest progress in implementing their climate action plans, with climate action strategies in place for five or more years on average, while the majority of French and British sustainability leaders reportedly had plans in place for less than five years.
  • Only 65% of UK businesses reported they have purchased carbon credits, while as many as 85% of German businesses have purchased credits.
  • UK businesses indicated they would pay the lowest price per tonne for carbon, 36% less than France and Germany, despite price often being one indicator of quality.

Overall, perceptions of carbon credits are high among businesses. As many as 94% of all sustainability leaders surveyed said they believe carbon credits have a positive impact on climate. However, a total of 37% of sustainability leaders and those newer to the industry reported securing budgets and resources for climate programmes is the greatest challenge in implementing their sustainability plans.

Patch also polled more than 1,500 consumers within the same geographies, two-thirds of whom reported that they are more likely to shop with a brand that uses carbon credits to support their climate strategies. The majority of these consumers also believed the responsibility to mitigate the climate impact of purchases lies with businesses.

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Consumers in the UK and Germany in particular said they trust businesses are taking meaningful steps on climate action (75%), but only 13% report “trusting fully” in these actions. In contrast, 27% of all consumers noted that their trust is improved when businesses work with third-party organisations to inform their climate action.

This trust gap demonstrates an opportunity for businesses to work with groups like the Science Based Targets Initiative, who helps measure and inform climate action across businesses, as well as Patch, who inform carbon credit purchases, to increase trust with their customers around climate action.

The findings from this survey suggest widespread confidence in carbon credits as a key component for funding climate action. This sentiment is shared among both consumers and businesses alike and increases as overall sustainability knowledge grows.

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