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Business group urges new PM to support UK stability and growth through ambitious environmental policy

13th July 2016

The Aldersgate Group welcomes the incoming Prime Minister, Rt Hon Theresa May MP and looks forward to working with her and her new ministers. Mrs May’s rapid appointment is welcome for businesses that have faced a high degree of uncertainty following the political turmoil in recent weeks.

The Aldersgate Group urges Mrs May to safeguard the UK’s growing low carbon economy, which generated a turnover in excess of £46bn in 2014[1] and which has become a key driver of jobs, skills and investment in parts of the country that need it the most[2]. A key priority for Mrs May’s government should the development of a detailed Emissions Reduction Plan by the end of 2016. This will be key to drive business investment in the UK’s low carbon infrastructure to meet the UK’s climate targets and will put British-based businesses in a strong position to tap into the rapidly growing global market for low carbon goods and services that was valued at around $5.5tn[3].

As highlighted in yesterday’s report from the Committee on Climate Change[4], Mrs May’s government should also put forward in the near future a 25 Year Plan for the Environment. This will be essential to improve the state of the natural environment on which our economy and society depends and ensure the UK’s infrastructure, businesses and citizens are better prepared to cope with the effects of climate change, such as increased flooding and heat waves.

Nick Molho, Executive Director of the Aldersgate Group said: “Theresa May and her new government have a lot to do. Clearly, negotiations for the UK’s exit from the European Union will be a priority, but there are opportunities over the next few months to stabilise the UK’s policy landscape and ensure that businesses investing in our low carbon and environmental sectors can continue to do so. We urge Mrs May to provide continuity and leadership for the UK’s low carbon economy.”

Nick Molho added: “For forty years, European environmental legislation has provided a “backstop” for businesses considering investment in the UK, providing policy continuity beyond the domestic five-year parliamentary cycle. The new government’s priority must be to restore that confidence as swiftly as possible through ambitious and stable environmental policy.”

 

[1] Recent ONS figures have highlighted that 96,500 businesses in the UK operated in the low carbon and renewable energy economy in 2014, generating £46.2bn of turnover and employing 238,500 people directly. ONS’ statistics are available at: https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/environmentalaccounts/bulletins/finalestimates/2014

[2] The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (2015) The size and performance of the UK low carbon economy

[3] The Global Commission on the Economy and Climate (2015), New Climate Economy Report: http://2015.newclimateeconomy.report

[4] Committee on Climate Change (2016), UK Climate Change Risk Assessment Evidence Report: https://www.theccc.org.uk/2016/07/12/new-report-provides-authoritative-scientific-assessment-of-climate-change-risks-to-uk/

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UK must better protect its infrastructure and natural environment in the face of climate change

12th July 2016

Reacting to the publication today of the Committee on Climate Change’s Risk Assessment Report, Nick Molho, Executive Director of the Aldersgate Group said: “Today’s report from the CCC shows that climate change will increasingly have disruptive impacts on the UK’s infrastructure, businesses and the state of its natural environment. In addition to developing a clear plan to cut its emissions of greenhouse gases to meet its climate targets, the government must strengthen its existing National Adaptation Programme to improve the state of its natural environment, ensure that its infrastructure is as resilient to extreme weather events as possible and build greater awareness in businesses and local authorities of the likely impacts of climate change in the years to come”.

Nick Molho added: “Improving the state of the UK’s natural environment can help the UK be better prepared to cope with the impacts of climate change, by for example protecting infrastructure and communities from risks such as flooding through the restoration of coastal wetlands [1], to supporting future food production in a changing climate by improving the fertility of agricultural soils [2]. This should be a priority for the government’s upcoming 25 year Environment Plan”.

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