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UK sees itself as least green in Europe

Over a quarter (27%) of UK respondents think environmental concerns are over-hyped·57% of respondents in the UK think there’s still time to save the world from the consequences of global warming.

UK disagrees with its continental neighbors over who should set environmental regulatory standards. Business leaders in the UK have voted their home nation as the least environmentally friendly in Europe, according to the results of the 17th annual UPS Europe Business Monitor. When asked to say which European country they thought had the worst environmental record 14% of UK business leaders pointed the finger at the UK, putting their own country behind 15 others including Poland (11%), Italy (10%), and the Russian Federation (9%). However, senior executives across Europe do not seem to share this pessimistic view of the UK’s green credentials. Overall, business leaders in Europe voted Italy as the worst green performer (14%), followed by Greece (11%), the Russian Federation (9%), Poland (8%) and Spain (7%). The UK came 6th overall, tied with France and Romania (all with 6%). In contrast, Germany and Sweden tied as the most environmentally friendly countries, each with 23% of votes, well ahead of the next contender; Norway on 7%.

Still time to act…?
Over a quarter (27%) of UK respondents think that environmental concerns are over-hyped and will pass in time, a view that seems to be shared across Europe (23% overall). However, the majority of business leaders in the UK believe the race to protect the environment is not lost. More than half (57%) of UK senior executives think we can still stop global warming from changing the world as we know it today, while 39% think it’s too late. This view is reflected across Europe, except in Germany where there is a much more fatalistic outlook. Almost nine out of ten (86%) respondents there think it’s already too late and that global warming will change the world beyond recognition, while only 13% think there’s still time to prevent change.

Who should set regulations?
When it comes to opinions on who should police environmental protection, respondents in the UK differ from their continental neighbors. UK business leaders think national governments should set mandatory environmental standards (43%), rather than the EU (18%), International Governmental Organisations like the UN (17%), industry associations (10%) or environmental NGOs (5%). The UK was the only country in Europe to identify national government as the best choice for environmental regulation, as the consensus of opinion across Europe identified the EU (43%), followed by International Governmental Organizations (25%) like the UN, with national governments in third place (20%). (