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Concerns that UK energy policy "does not encourage investment"

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Furniture giant Ikea has refused to invest any of its £524million green fund in the UK, following criticisms that English energy policy is flawed and “does not encourage investment”.

The comments come from Ikea UK’s head of sustainability Joanna Yarrow, who says that the Government have made it “increasingly difficult to invest in renewable energy production in the UK” in recent years.

The Swedish flat-pack retailer has reportedly invested around £1.32bn in renewable energy projects across the globe elsewhere in the last two decades.

Ms Yarrow said: “The UK has a fantastic wind profile, it is one of the best places in the world to generate energy via wind, but the context that we’re operating in, the political context, doesn’t encourage that investment. So we’re having to take it elsewhere.

“I would say that over the last five or six years it has become increasingly difficult to invest in renewable energy production in the UK, and that for a large organisation like Ikea which has the resources to invest, it would be great for the UK to benefit from it”.

As a point of comparison, Ms Yarrow said that Sweden and other Nordic countries had a “political and legislative context” which has “sustainability much more ingrained” and encourages green investment.

The comments echo a study carried out by Renewable UK in 2015, which found that 73 per cent of investors felt that Britain’s renewables investment climate had become ‘unfavourable’.

Greenpeace CEO, Kate Blagojevic, supported Ikea’s sentiment. She said: “We should open the door for investors like Ikea to back renewable technologies that will deliver competitively priced power, new jobs and cut carbon emissions.

“The Government should take a fresh approach and make sure new onshore wind is part of the mix we need for a secure, smart energy system,” she added.