Coming a few days after the UK’s referendum on membership of the European Union increased investment uncertainty, the Aldersgate Group said that the government’s acceptance of the fifth carbon budget at the level recommended by the Committee on Climate Change is an important indication of the UK’s desire to continue growing its low carbon economy.
Nick Molho, Executive Director of the Aldersgate Group, said: “The adoption of the fifth carbon budget is an important step forward. It shows that the UK wants to stay on track in meeting its long-term climate change targets in a way that’s cost effective and also signals an intent to increase investment in low carbon technologies. At a time when global investments in clean technologies are rapidly growing in countries such as China, India, the United States and South Africa, it’s important that the UK keeps growing its low carbon economy to remain competitive on the global stage. As we are seeing with the offshore wind manufacturing investments being made in Hull, growing the UK’s low carbon economy can bring investment and skilled employment opportunities to those parts of the country that need it the most.”
Nick Molho added: “Business now looks towards the government’s Emissions Reduction Plan later this year to set out the specific policy drivers that will help stimulate investment in low carbon generation, energy efficiency projects, low carbon heat and low emission transport during this Parliament. This is an opportunity for the government to set out a strategy that businesses will respond to with affordable investment and innovation in low carbon technologies.”
Reacting to Secretary of State’s Amber Rudd speech this morning, the Aldersgate Group stressed that continuing to tackle climate change and build a strong low carbon economy is in the UK’s environmental and economic interest.
Nick Molho, Executive Director of the Aldersgate Group, said: “Coming a few days after the outcome of the EU referendum, it is positive to hear Amber Rudd highlight the importance of continuing to tackle climate change. As shown by the 195 countries that adopted the Paris Agreement in December, climate change is an issue that is of major concern to leaders around the world. The world economy is also seeing an important shift towards low carbon technologies, with a record $285bn invested in renewable energy in 2015  and countries such as China reducing their production of coal.
It is in the UK’s environmental and economic interest to stay in touch with these global trends, remain actively involved in international climate change diplomacy and support the growth of a strong national low carbon economy that already employs over 238,500 people directly. ”
Following the outcome of the UK’s referendum in favour of leaving the European Union (EU), the Aldersgate Group argues that it is in the UK’s interest to continue to lead on environmental issues and grow the UK’s thriving low carbon economy.
Noting that environmental issues featured very little on both sides of the EU referendum campaign, the Aldersgate Group said that the government should continue its work to improve the state of the natural environment at home and ensure the UK economy remained competitive at a time where the global market for low-carbon goods and services is rapidly growing.
Nick Molho, Executive Director of the Aldersgate Group said: “Environmental and low carbon economy issues were largely overlooked during the EU referendum campaign. Yet, both within and outside the EU, the UK has often taken a leading position on tackling environmental issues such as climate change. Today, its low carbon and renewable energy economy has a turnover in excess of £46bn, employs over 238,000 full time workers directly and British businesses are leading exporters of clean technologies such as ultra-low emission cars.
“With serious environmental issues facing the world economy and with low carbon investment rapidly growing globally, it is in the UK’s economic and environmental interest to engage positively in international negotiations on climate change and other environmental issues and support the growth of its low carbon economy through national policy. Showing its commitment to the Climate Change Act by adopting the fifth carbon budget and a robust carbon plan to deliver it and making rapid progress on a 25 year plan to improve the state of the UK’s natural environment must now be essential priorities for the government.”