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Report shows decarbonisation is driving transport investment strategy

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Decarbonisation is a primary driver of the transport industry’s investment strategy. That is the conclusion of a report published by global law firm DLA Piper.

The views of 100 senior executives who have invested in decarbonisation projects across Europe were canvassed by researchers. The resulting report – Driving Change: The Decarbonisation of European Transport – reveals the majority of investors (79%) consider that decarbonisation is a primary driver of their organisation’s investment strategy.

Decarbonisation strategies in three key transport sectors were researched: aviation, rail, and shipping.  The majority of respondents from aviation (82%), rail (79%) and shipping (85%) agreed that decarbonisation is a primary driver of their organisation’s investment strategy.

Investors said that better access to capital is the top driver for investment in greener technologies over traditional ones, whereas corporate respondents have big ambitions when it comes to curbing their CO₂ emissions. More than half say their organisation plans at least a 40% decrease in net carbon emissions by 2030 compared to current levels.

However, respondents were uncertain as to whether they will meet their carbon reduction targets, with just over half (52%) of rail company executives expecting to meet their target. Fear of lost revenue, from issues such as halted services and lost custom from higher consumer prices, is seen as a major obstacle when it comes to investing in decarbonisation projects and technologies.

Martin Nelson-Jones, DLA Piper.

DLA Piper’s global chairman for the infrastructure, construction and transport sectors, Martin Nelson-Jones, said: “Transport is the bedrock of modern economies, yet also a major source of carbon dioxide emissions. Given the current post-COP26 backdrop, decarbonisation must be a primary investment strategy driver for aviation, rail and shipping, as highlighted in our study.

“There are risks – reflecting tight deadlines for major investment decisions, technological change and a complex regulatory environment – but our report highlights that the benefits of decarbonisation are widely recognised.”

To prepare the report for DLA Piper, Acuris Studios surveyed 100 senior executives based in Europe that have invested in European decarbonisation projects and/or technologies related to aviation, rail, or shipping in the past 24 months.

50 respondents were from industry, including airlines, airports, rail operators and shipping ports/freeports and shipping operators; and 50 respondents were investors, including specialist infrastructure/transport funds, sovereign wealth funds, private equity, pension funds, sponsors/developers, bank lenders, lessors, export credit agencies and private credit funds.

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