U.K. Government Urged to Tackle Climate Change for Economic Growth

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – A new U.K. report from the Aldersgate Group, A Brighter, More Secure Future: Low carbon priorities for the new government, has brought together voices from the economy, academia and civil society to spell out key priorities for meeting carbon targets. It gathers contributions from leading figures across sectors such as telecoms, manufacturing, finance, retail, construction, cement, energy and engineering consultancy industries to make the case to the U.K. government for transitioning to a low-carbon economy and that tackling climate change can provide significant economic opportunities for the country, making its economy far more competitive and resilient to shocks in the future.

The Aldersgate Group report sees three clear priorities for the new government’s climate and energy policy. First, to urgently provide greater policy clarity for the post 2020 period that investors need to invest in and reduce the cost of the U.K.’s low carbon infrastructure. Next, to make energy efficiency a national priority backed up by clear government co-ordination, funds and policies tailored to different categories of energy efficiency measures, including commercial energy efficiency. Third, to ensure that the upcoming international negotiations on climate change in Paris is a diplomatic priority, in addition to important regional milestones such as the implementation of the European Union’s 2030 climate and energy package.

Policy makers need to put the U.K.’s energy efficiency at the top of the agenda and provide clarity on the country’s ambitions for low-carbon technologies. Nick Molho, executive director of the Aldersgate Group says, “The recommendations that business, academic and civil society leaders have set out in this report will help the U.K. 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.”

A number of businesses in the report called for making clear that the U.K.’s positive stance in international negotiations must be backed up by credible and stable policies at home to grow an efficient and low-carbon economy rapidly, and for greater investment in energy efficiency across the country. In the report, Lord Deben, chair of the Committee on Climate Change, called on the government to encourage the commercialisation of new technologies and criticised the status quo of fossil fuels “which are sold at a price which doesn’t cover the costs they impose on the NHS, local authorities and not the horrendous cost they demand of the planet.”

Responding to the report, Energy and Climate Change Secretary Amber Rudd says, “This report shows the scale of the economic opportunity around low-carbon growth. A technological revolution is already underway and the U.K. is powering ahead with innovation, enterprise and competition. We will push for an ambitious deal in Paris that helps create confidence and a level playing field for business to thrive while helping to combat climate change.” The climate change talks in Paris in December will be key and not just for the U.K. government alone but internationally. It’s crunch time for U.K. government.

Photo Credit: Energy in the U.K. Seen from an International Space Station; Wikipedia