MPs call for regulation to drive green economy
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.
Businesses vote for food security to be priority for Rio+20
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."
Spelman sets out green economy vision for Aldersgate Business Summit
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.
Green Investment Bank can be engine for growth
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.
Businesses and general public call for mandatory carbon reporting
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 (letter adjacent), 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.”
Are green and growth compatible?
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.
The full speech is attached.
AG supports corporate energy survey
The Aldersgate Group is encouraging corporate stakeholders (from FTSE 350 companies) to complete Green Monday's Energy Benchmark Survey (to view, click here).
The Aldersgate Group is the policy partner for the survey. This provides an important platform for the corporate community to respond to a complex energy environment whilst building more sustainable businesses. The results will be published at Green Corporate Energy Summit 2012 on the 27th June (email email@example.com for a discount code) and an Aldersgate Group Parliamentary debate on the 16th July (more details to follow).
Does yellow and blue make green?
In an article in the Environmentalist (attached), 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.
AG launches sustainable procurement initiative
The Aldersgate Group (AG) and Defra recently organised a joint roundtable discussion on sustainable procurement for a range of businesses and public sector bodies to discuss how it can best contribute to sustainable growth.
Defra Minister, Lord Taylor, said: "This is a really important forum. It originates from the AG's report on green growth so it is derived from the work the Group originally did and in which the Government has taken a particular interest. I am pleased we've been able to build on that paper in discussions and what we see is the importance of sustainable public procurement as a driver for the economy."
The first output of the work will be published in the summer. For Defra's overview and more information, click here.
Government should be more transparent on the UK's carbon footprint
The Aldersgate Group (AG) has welcomed a new report by the Energy and Climate Change Committee on 'Consumption-Based Emissions Reporting'.
Chris Tuppen, Director of the AG and a witness to the inquiry, said: "Just as companies are being encouraged to report their carbon emissions across their supply chain, so should governments. This would help to influence the overall purchasing behaviours of organisations and inform policy decisions at all levels. We welcome the Committee’s recommendation that the Government should explore the ways in which it can incorporate consumption-based emissions data into its policy making process."