Call for UK to Match Actions with Words

UK BUSINESSES stand ready to build a new low-climate-risk economy, but feel the Government needs to take their promised action.

Business leaders and Chief Executives from some of Britainʼs biggest companies including Shell, Tesco, Lloyds Banking Group, EDF Energy, Unilever and Kingfisher, have issued their sternest warning yet that the Government is running out of time to meet the challenge of climate change and make Britain a hub for green enterprise.

It must go further if it is to fulfill David Cameronʼs pledge to be the “greenest Government ever”.

In a new report launched in the past week, Seize The Day: A Call to Action for UK Climate Leadership, the Prince of Walesʼs UK Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change (UK CLG) has concluded that the Government must dramatically step up the pace at which it is delivering policies to tackle climate change, or risk falling short of its goals to tackle emissions and reduce our vulnerability to climate change.

The companies have called for a simpler, clearer and more focused approach, claiming that current efforts by the Government are overly complex and fail to deliver sufficiently against the UKʼs goals for tackling climate change.

The report lays out seven areas in which the Government needs to raise ambition and work more closely with business to unlock the resilient and low-carbon green growth Britain needs.

Truett Tate, Director, Lloyds Banking Group said "I firmly believe that to successfully transition to a low carbon economy, the UK must focus on delivering against a clearly defined roadmap which provides the necessary clarity and certainty for business to invest. That investment must include energy efficiency alongside a greater demand for deployment of low carbon technologies, and incorporate action across the entire business community - enabling large corporates as well as the SME market.”

It is important for the Government to put in place the framework to encourage private sector investment in low carbon projects. This can help Britain emerge from the economic downturn as one of the leaders in low-carbon industries said Vincent de Rivaz, Chief Executive, EDF Energy. “It is particularly important that the UK seizes the opportunities of the current moment,” he said. “We must ensure that as the UK economy grows after the recession it follows a path of low- carbon growth.”

The UK CLG report follows analysis from business lobby group the CBI that Britain was failing to make progress on all but one of its climate change trackers, and lays out a roadmap for how government and business can work together to realise their shared ambitions.

The seven critical areas identified in the report where more work is needed are:

  1. Adequate and sustained ambition at all levels
  2. A clear, long-term, simple and effective policy framework
  3. Support innovation
  4. Encourage behaviour change to promote efficiency and a shift to sustainable consumption
  5. Build a resilient economy
  6. Action in the context of globalisation and an interconnected world
  7. Invest in the transformation.

Picture of Cabot Square, Canary Wharf  © Copyright Danny Robinson and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Wednesday 6th July 2011

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