The AG welcomes a new report by the Environmental Audit Committee which calls for green investment to play a key role in the UK's economic recovery. Its publication on the green economy strongly reflects the AG's position and references the AG's evidence fifteen times in the report. This includes recommendations on the need for a comprehensive green economy vision and framework, a smarter approach to regulation, a more strategic approach to skills, a new mindset for procurement to drive innovation and principles for policy certainty.
Andrew Raingold, Executive Director of the Aldersgate Group and an oral witness to the inquiry, said: "The committee warn that the Government's deregulation agenda is stalling the green economy. There is significant scope for a pro-business, outcome based approach to regulatory reform and a more strategic approach to assert leadership in the green economy race."
To read the report, click here.
A sustainable, healthy and affordable diet should be the number one priority for Governments at Rio+20 according to a business summit specially convened by the Aldersgate Group.
The Rio+20 Business Summit, hosted by PwC, and attended by over 170 business, policy makers and NGO's, debated the practical outcomes the business world needs to see from the forthcoming Rio+20 international negotiations on the state of the planet.
Paul Kelly, ASDA Head of Corporate Sustainability, made the case for food security, calling for action now, in particular to reduce supply chain waste, rather than sustainable intensificaiton of agriculture alone. Mr Kelly said: "There is no greater political imperative than food security. The stark truth is that if the world's Governments don't make food security their number one priority, than creating a green economy will be for nothing"
Caroline Spelman, Secretary of State for the Environment, said: "The Aldersgate Group summit showed the significant support we have from the business community for a green economy and clear outcomes from Rio+20."
In an article in the Guardian, Caroline Spelman, Secretary of State for Defra, has set out her vision for greening the economy in the run up to Rio+20. She says that "I'll take my seat alongside British business leaders at the Aldersgate Rio+20 Business Summit where we'll debate the opportunities and the challenges of transforming our whole economy to one geared towards long-term green growth".
To read the article, click here.
Responding to the Queen's speech, Andrew Raingold, Executive Director of the Aldersgate Group said: "It is welcome that the Green Investment Bank will be on the parliamentary programme this year as it can be a vital engine for growth. Powers to borrow must be enshrined in legislation, for the institution to maximise its potential to benefit the economy and provide certainty to investors."
See coverage in Environmental Finance here.
The Aldersgate Group, an alliance of businesses and environmental groups, backed by public opinion, has called on the Government to ensure large companies report annual information on their greenhouse gas emissions.
The Aldersgate Group has written to Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, to push for a positive decision on mandatory carbon reporting and has published a Populus poll which finds that more than 75 percent of 2,044 adults surveyed across the United Kingdom said large businesses should be required to report carbon emissions.
Peter Young, Chairman of the Aldersgate Group, said: “It is exceptional for a policy to have such widespread support from business, civil society and the general public. This reflects the need for greater corporate transparency on environmental and social impacts. The public expects companies to report more than just profits and bonuses.”
In a speech to the RSA, AG Member Lord Chris Smith criticises those in the green movement who oppose all growth and praises big business that has already recognised the benefits of green growth and sustainable production. And he makes a robust defence of the role for good regulation in setting a level playing field, supporting innovation and reducing pollution.
His strongest criticism is reserved for those in the Republican Party in the USA, such as Sarah Palin, who have overseen the "disastrous politicisation" of climate change and prevented action, while welcoming the cross-party action on climate change in the UK.
In an article in the Environmentalist (here), Tim Yeo MP and Peter Young, Aldersgate Group Chairman, consider the progress of the coalition on meeting its pledge to be the greenest government ever after two years. It debates both the positives and the negatives, concluding that more progress needs to be made in the next three years.
This must include more champions across Whitehall. "You can see why the Treasury's focus is on the deficit, and that's only right; but it shouldn't ignore long-term success" says Tim Yeo.