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IKEA Withholds Spend on Renewable Energy in the UK

17 Jan 16:00 by Steve Walia

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IKEA has confirmed that it will be withholding spending from its entire £524 million environmental fund in the UK until the May government make steps to facilitate investment in clean energy programmes.

An Attack on the Government

The Swedish furniture giant made a rare attack on government policy by saying that Britain's current 'political context' meant that it would need to invest in green finance projects elsewhere.

The head of sustainability at IKEA, Joanna Yarrow, said in an interview with the Huffington Post UK that the company had already invested over £1.5 billion in green energy projects globally in the past twenty years, adding that a further £500 million would be only available to Britain if things changed for the better.

She explained that the UK was one of the best global destinations for wind energy development but that the political environment didn't encourage private investment. As a result, IKEA is looking to divert its funds elsewhere.

Harder to Invest in Green Projects

Yarrow said that it had become increasingly difficult to privately invest in green energy projects since the change of government in 2010. IKEA has a wind farm in Scotland and in Ireland, both of which help to power its network of 20 British stores.

The brand is strongly committed to renewable energy, which they see as being essential as part of the transition to the low-carbon economy and a driver of new sustainable jobs. Its billion-pound global fund has benefited projects across the world.

Greenpeace commented on the news, saying that IKEA's decision demonstrated how shambolic the government's renewable energy policies had become. However, a government spokesman maintained that the UK remained one of the most attractive places for clean energy investment in the world.