Business Case for Rapid Low Carbon Transition from UK Leaders
THE Aldersgate Group, an alliance of UK business, politics and civil society leaders, set out key policy priorities for the UK parliament to address to allow the country to meet its carbon targets in a new report.
The report: "A Brighter, More Secure Future: Low carbon priorities for the new government" gathers contributions from leaders drawn from sectors as varied as the telecoms, manufacturing, finance, retail, construction, cement, energy and engineering consultancy industries as well as prominent academics, consumer groups and NGOs.
In the report, the Aldersgate Group urges policy makers to provide clarity as soon as possible on the funding and level of ambition for low carbon technologies beyond 2020, prioritise the improved energy efficiency of the UK’s infrastructure, continue the positive work done to date in international climate negotiations and provide the necessary support to vulnerable parts of society and the economy in doing so.
The report argues that the environmental and low carbon goods sector is already playing a key role in the UK’s continued economic recovery, with an annual turnover in excess of £122bn in 2013. But the sector is now at a crossroads and needs clear policies for the decade ahead to ensure its continued growth.
Nick Molho, Executive Director of the Aldersgate Group said: “Last week’s report from the Committee on Climate Change showed that decarbonising the UK’s economy could be done affordably. This report goes further and shows that tackling climate change can provide significant economic opportunities for the UK and make our economy far more competitive and resilient to shocks in the future.”
Contributors set out key policy recommendations that would ensure the UK’s transition to an efficient and low carbon economy stays on track and is delivered in a way that is as economically beneficial as possible to the UK.
The report highlights that there are major economic growth opportunities ahead in low carbon energy, transport, information and communications technology, smart grids and energy efficiency, but emphasises that businesses need unambiguous assurance that if they invest in decarbonising the economy, they must be able to count on sufficiently stable and long-term policies and won’t be at risk of retrospective policy changes.
Molho added: “The recommendations that business, academic and civil society leaders have set out in this report will help the UK meet its emission targets on time, on budget and in a way that’s economically beneficial. We urge the government to take note of them and put forward stable policies for the decade ahead.”
Joan Walley, Chair of the Aldersgate Group said: “One crucial area for government engagement will be to continue driving ambition to achieve binding commitments at the climate change negotiations in Paris at the end of this year. But as many businesses in our report make clear, the UK’s positive stance in international negotiations must be backed up by credible and stable policies at home to rapidly grow an efficient and low carbon economy. The government now needs to set out its plans for the low carbon economy in the very near future.”
Picture of the Houses of Parliament by Riaz Shah, reproduced under CCL.
Monday 13th July 2015