Andrew Raingold, Executive Director of the Aldersgate Group, thanked the staff, directors and members of the Aldersgate Group in a farewell speech at law firm Hogan Lovells.
He said: "The biggest achievement over the last seven years, beyond any specific policy campaign, is the group's ability to bring together some of the most influential actors in the UK to demonstrate real leadership on the environmental agenda. We have not been bogged down by the lowest common denominator, where so many business coalitions get stuck, but have continuously strived to be the highest common denominator. We owe this track record to a committed and progressive membership that is the key to everything that we do.
"My successor, Nick Molho, is absolutely the right man to take the organisation to the next level. He has repeatedly brought together business coalitions for change and will ensure that the AG is a driving force for a sustainable economy in the run up to the next election and beyond."
At the event, the winner of the "Dragons' Den", Mike Barry, Director of Sustainable Business at M&S, said: "This is Andrew's last gig at the Aldersgate Group and he has done a phenomenal job. The reason why we are all here today is because he has led this organisation and made it very special."
The Aldersgate Group is delighted to confirm two new appointments to our Board of Directors: Mark Gough, Head of Sustainability at The Crown Estate, and Luke Herbert, Head of UK Government Affairs at Jaguar Land Rover.
Both have been involved in Aldersgate Group activities through their employers' membership of the Group.
Mark Gough said: "I am really thrilled to be joining one of the most progressive organisations in the UK. With new leadership and building upon a really strong foundation this is an exciting time for the Aldersgate Group and I am honoured to be a part of it. We have a lot to do, but I am confident that the team, members and supporters will rise to the challenge and move us closer towards a sustainable economy that works."
Luke Herbert said: "In my time working across business and in government affairs, I have seen the huge contribution that business can make in innovation and delivery to improve the environment and delivery jobs and growth. The Aldersgate Group has constantly impressed me in its ability to bring progressive business, policymakers and those with an environmental interest together around a common agenda. As the UK moves to the next stage of action on climate change whilst seeking to have an even more competitive economy, the need for the Aldersgate Group could not be greater. I greatly look forward to supporting the work of the Group in this role."
A new report and series of pilot projects finds that business can play a leading role in leveraging their strengths to deliver the combined outcomes of greater opportunity for the poor, benefits for the climate and resilience against physical climate changes.
Written by the Aldersgate Group and DfiD-supported Climate Development Knowledge Network (CDKN), the report finds that business-to-business partnerships can create the conditions for transformational change, through the creation of climate resilient global supply chains, opening up new markets and creating jobs and income, or developing innovative and scalable solutions to tackling emissions and poverty.
These partnerships can be effectively supported by strategic and targeted aid, turning climate and development opportunity into climate and development success. Directly following the publication of the report, four pilot projects have been funded by DfiD, including renewable energy village power in Sub Saharan Africa, energy efficiency for businesses in Peru and decentralised energy access in rural India.
Andrew Raingold, Executive Director of the Aldersgate Group, said: “Our study shows that with the right incentives and support, business-to-business partnerships can be a valuable tool to mitigate climate change, build resilience, and alleviate poverty, a win-win-win! We are delighted that this has led to four pilot projects around the world to help further test the concept and build the evidence base.”
Andrew Raingold, the Executive Director of the Aldersgate Group, has told the Environmental Audit Committee that the Government is "running out of options" to deliver on its pledge to be the greenest government ever "if there is less Government spending available (and) if there is less appetite to regulate". He said that greater leadership was required to drive "sensible" fiscal reform and "best value" public procurement.
As an oral witness to the Committee's inquiry on An Environmental Scorecard, Mr Raingold said: "A priority for the next Government should be sensible fiscal reform which seeks to raise taxes on damaging activities like pollution and reduce taxes on beneficial activities like work. The Office for National Statistics shows that the proportion of environmental taxation has fallen during this Parliament. If this trend were reversed over the next five years and delivered in a smart way, there would be benefits for growth, jobs and wellbeing."
The report gives the Government a ‘red card’ for its efforts to reduce health-damaging air pollution, protect biodiversity and prevent flooding in a scorecard assessment of its green policies during this Parliament.
Mike Barry, Director of Sustainable Business at M&S, was voted the winner at the Aldersgate Group's UN Climate Summit Dragons Den. The event heard from a series of business leaders who met the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon’s challenge to make bold pledges to close the emissions gap and deliver a low carbon economy.
He said: “There is no single thing that governments can work out in a smoke filled room in New York, Paris or anywhere else that will change business. Governments have to invite business to the table to work with them".
"My challenge is that governments should invite the big industrial sectors of the global economy to come to Paris in 15 months time to show how they are going to reduce by 80% the carbon in their business models, in their supply chains and operations and consumer use of their products. Also, they need to turn up with a plan to show how they are going to scale that across the millions of companies within their sectors.”
The Aldersgate Group welcomes the wide acceptance of the work of the business-led Ecosystems Markets Task Force (EMTF) set out in the Government’s response published on 5th September. But while the Government has favoured the vast majority of the recommendations, the actions described could fall well short of delivering the contribution to growth and business opportunity that ambitious implementation of the EMTF's carefully crafted suggestions would make.
Peter Young, Chairman of the Aldersgate Group and a member of the EMTF said: “The business opportunities highlighted by the EMTF will not be realised if Government is not prepared to make them tangible and secure for investment in new nature based markets. For example, it is vital that the current consultation on biodiversity offsetting does not result in a voluntary scheme which, the published Impact Assessment shows, will deliver absolutely nothing for growth. It would be a massive missed opportunity which has been estimated to be worth £450 million over the next decade. I am pleased that there will be the opportunity to scrutinise progress on all 22 recommendations next spring.”
The Aldersgate Group is delighted to confirm the appointment of Nick Molho as its new Executive Director. Nick replaces Andrew Raingold who is standing down after more than seven years leading the organisation.
Molho is currently Head of Climate Change and Energy Policy at WWF. He is an environmental lawyer who started his career at CMS Cameron McKenna, where he spent six years working on commercial energy law for a range of international businesses, regulators and governments. At WWF he has continued building connections with the private sector, recently managing a joint statement in The Times that was signed by 110 businesses and industry organisations in support of the Fourth Carbon Budget. A regular public speaker, Molho also writes for a range of outlets such as The Economist Insights, Business Green and the Huffington Post.
Peter Young, Chair of the Aldersgate Group said: “Andy has done a fantastic job for Aldersgate Group and when he leaves in October he should take huge pride in the journey he has led us on, since our inception eight years ago. But we have always exploited every challenge as an opportunity to take our agenda forward and this is no exception.
“I am delighted to welcome Nick Molho as our new Executive Director. He comes with a wealth of experience in developing evidence-based policy positions, engaging with business, delivering transformation and communicating to a mass audience. His arrival is perfect timing, as we launch our An Economy That Works campaign and gear up towards making the next Government a green success. He will bring us new momentum and experience, and I expect us to go to from strength to strength under his leadership.’
Nick Molho said: “I have long been a supporter of the Aldersgate Group and its ethos that environmental policies must sit above everyday party politics and can play a key role in improving the competitiveness of our economy. The current political and financial climate has proved this point many times over and this makes the Aldersgate Group one of the most important and exciting bodies to be leading today.”
The Chairman of the Aldersgate Group, Peter Young, has said we need a repayment plan to address the natural capital debt. Delivering the closing remarks at RSPB's Conference for Nature alongside other keynote speeches from Sir David Attenborough and the Rt Hon Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister, he said that the debt to nature was far worse than the financial debt.
Peter Young said: "If the Greek debt crisis looked bad our natural capital debt is even more grave. The plant will become truly bankrupt if we don't start reducing it soon. We need a credible repayment plan to start restoring nature now."
"The next government must act for nature. New legislation to halt destruction and start recovery, a clear long term remit for the Natural Capital Committee Mk II, and consistent linkage between the health of the individual, the economy and nature in policy making would do it for me. It is time to halt the selfish complacency of procrastination which politicians have shown in dealing with our urgent environmental problems."