AG feeds into labour green economy group
The Aldersgate Group's skills lead, John Edmonds, has been appointed to Labour's green economy policy review group. With representation from the shadow DECC, BIS and Treasury team, it will advise the opposition on measures to drive low-carbon jobs and growth.
John Edmonds said "The review is a very encouraging initiative and the Aldersgate Group has offered to help in every way it can. It is good to see that the review aims to develop a policy framework that stimulates sustainable growth with benefits to jobs, competitiveness and the environment, as well as ensuring that the UK workforce has the right skill sets to meet future needs."
For more information, click here.
Natural capital must be integrated into decision making
Responding to the publication of the EFRA committee's report on the Natural Environment White Paper, Ian Dickie, Aldersgate Group Director, said:
"The Committee is right to call for natural capital to be better integrated into Government decision-making, as highlighted in the Aldersgate Group's "Pricing the Priceless" report last year. The Committee calls on the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister to lead a programme of action, but it should also demand leadership from the Treasury, which influences the way so many resources are used in the economy, in implementing that programme."
UK to have higher energy prices than competitors
A survey of energy experts from the UK’s largest businesses finds that only 5% of respondents expect the UK’s energy prices to be less than its competitor economies in 2015, with 62% expecting them to be higher. This is due to a lack of investment in new generating capacity to replace decommissioned coal-fired power stations. The survey was undertaken by Green Monday in partnership with the Aldersgate Group. To read the full survey, click here.
Andrew Raingold, Executive Director of the Aldersgate Group, said: “The rising costs of energy in the UK are a major concern for businesses and households. The corporate survey demonstrates that it is the price of fossil fuels, not green policies, that will have the biggest impact on rising bills. These findings are consistent with Government analysis which finds that recent energy bill increases are primarily due to increased wholesale gas costs.”
“The cheapest way to address this challenge is to reduce demand. There must be much more focus on incentivising consumers and businesses to use less energy rather than investing in expensive new supply.”
For coverage in the Telegraph, click here.
Circular economy a real value proposition
In an article published by CIWM Andrew Raingold, Executive Director of the Aldersgate Group, said that the circular economy provides a number of economic benefits as global resources become more scarce. He says that "a small number of companies at the vanguard of applying circular economy thinking are already demonstrating that it is a real value proposition" and that the Aldersgate Group were seeking to ensure this is scaled up.
More action is needed on the low carbon agenda
Responding to the Committee on Climate Change's 2012 Progress Report, Aldersgate Group Chairman, Peter Young, said that more action is needed on the low carbon agenda.
"With low carbon policies estimated at delivering only a quarter of that required to meet future carbon budgets, the days of discussing options for a step change in growing the UK low carbon economy are over. Implementation must start now with the focus on action and delivery.
Our emergence from austerity risks bringing us slow brown growth not the fast green growth that would deliver future carbon budgets."
More emphasis needed on re-skilling current workforce
In an article for The Learning Rep, the flagship skills publication of the TUC and Unionlearn, the Aldersgate Group lead on skills, John Edmonds, has said that it is crucial not to abandon re-skilling opportunities for the existing workforce in favour of investing exclusively in the next generation. He said the current workforce should have an "opportunity of changing direction, of taking on new skills, or preparing for the new economy".
AG sets out circular economy vision
The transition to a circular economy presents opportunities for growth and competitive advantage in a resource constrained world. In a new report, Resilience in the Round, the Aldersgate Group (AG) sets out challenges, opportunities, enablers, barriers and timescales, as well as outlining next steps that the AG will develop with stakeholders.
The AG has collaborated with the Big Picture on a multimedia platform to introduce the circular economy which can be accessed here. If you like this briefing, you'll find a link to 24 more on key business sustainability issues from Big Picture on the final page. Alternatively, to access the full report, click here.
AG welcomes mandatory carbon reporting
The Aldersgate Group has welcomed plans by the Government to ensure that London Stock Exchange companies will be required to disclose their greenhouse gas emissions in their annual reports. This follows a four year campaign from the Aldersgate Group which drafted the original amendments to the Climate Change Act and wrote to Nick Clegg last month to demand an urgent decision before the Rio+20 Earth Summit (read more here).
Andrew Raingold, Executive Director for the Aldersgate Group, said: "Our members strongly welcome the introduction of mandatory carbon reporting following extensive input into the process. This is an area where corporate executives have been demanding more regulation from government to provide greater clarity and transparency. This announcement should pave the way to extend the requirements to all large companies in due course and demonstrates genuine UK leadership on reporting at the Rio+20 Earth Summit."
GIB legislation must prioritise borrowing and mandate
Speaking at the Westminster Energy, Environment and Transport Forum, Andrew Raingold, Executive Director of the Aldersgate Group, said that the Green Investment Bank (GIB) must strengthen the measures for the green mandate in legislation. He noted that "investment in fossil fuel infrastructure that was more efficient than industry standards would meet the current requirements for green purposes" and it should be strengthened with reference to the Climate Change Act and explicitly ruling out dirty technologies. The Aldersgate Group is also calling for the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill to include an amendment on borrowing to provide greater certainty to investors and this was raised a number of times during the Second Reading in Parliament last week. Attached is the Aldersgate Group's legislation briefing.
Guardian podcast: what can Rio+20 achieve?
Andrew Raingold, Executive Director from the Aldersgate Group, contributed to a Guardian podcast on what tangible measures the Rio+20 conference can hope to produce. He cites the huge transformation in business attitudes and opportunities since the last Rio Earth Summit twenty years ago and the need for robust regulatory frameworks to stimulate green growth and a resource revolution.
To listen to the podcast, click here.