The UK’s electricity sector will have to improve its carbon intensity if the country is to meet climate change targets, according to a new report assessing the sustainability of UK businesses.

The report finds that in the last year the UK slipped back in terms of progress in decarbonising electricity generation. It also highlights energy efficiency and industrial carbon emissions as areas where little progress has been made over the last 12 months.

As a result, the UK is “nowhere near the path” to achieving the government-set target of an 80 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, says Environment Data Services (ENDS), the author of the report.

According to ENDS, the average annual fall since 2000 in electricity carbon intensity has been 6.7 g of carbon dioxide (CO2). The UK Committee on Climate Change states that electricity carbon intensity will have to fall by 17 g of CO2 per year, every year, to 2020 to support a halving of UK emissions.

The study by ENDS assesses the efforts by businesses in the UK to engage with the climate change challenge. “Radical action is needed, including a rethinking of business models,” says ENDS Editor-in-Chief Nick Rowcliffe.