AG supports sustainability reporting at Rio+20
The Aldersgate Group (AG) has joined the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Coalition which is calling on all United Nations Member States to commit to develop a Convention on Corporate Sustainability Reporting at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20). This includes a commitment by UN Member States to develop national regulations, formal codes or listing rules that encourage the integration of material sustainability issues within the annual report of all listed and large private companies. It would include the option for companies to opt out by explaining their rationale for not complying. For more information, click here.
The convention is open to supporters from business, financial institutions, professional bodies and NGOs. For further information, contact William Pomroy, Public Policy Manager, Aviva (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Disclosure vital to reduce climate risk
Andrew Raingold, Executive Director of the Aldersgate Group, outlines the importance of carbon disclosure to address material business risks in a new pamphlet for Environmental Finance. The report explores the shift in thinking about what risks are apparent to industry, how to measure and report such risks, what frameworks are in place (both voluntary and mandatory) and identifies the main stakeholders in the discourse. Andrew's chapter has been made available for free to AG stakeholders and further details of the full report can be found here.
Government misses 4 year deadline on climate change laws
The Government has announced that "no decision" has been made on regulations to introduce mandatory carbon reporting. The decision to delay effectively means that the Government has met the name but not the intention of the requirements in the Climate Change Act that were introduced four years ago, following a campaign by the Aldersgate Group (AG).
Peter Young, Chairman of the AG, said: “Business has been patiently waiting for a clear signal to level the playing field on carbon reporting. Voluntary systems have run out of road and the UK risks losing its lead in carbon reporting, accounting and reduction. This failure to act now undermines business’ call for much greater transparency and consistency from Government.”
“As Ministers seek to reach an informed decision, urgency is paramount. Businesses cannot be left in the dark for months on end. There is great pressure to introduce mandatory carbon reporting as soon and widely as practical.”
For more information, read our press release. Click here for Guardian article.
Aldersgate Group supports Natural Capital Declaration
In the run up to the Rio+20 Earth Summit, the Aldersgate Group (AG) has supported the Natural Capital Declaration. This is a finance-led initiative to account and embed natural capital within investment, banking and loan decisions, consistent with the recommendations in our Pricing the Priceless report.
For more information, click here.
Budget 2012: Disconnect between growth and environment policies persist
Commenting on the 2012 Budget, Peter Young, Chairman of the Aldersgate Group (AG), said: "The Budget was a missed opportunity to align the reforms to support growth with green policy and so stimulate sustainable growth in reality as well as in name." In the run up to Budget, fifty companies and green groups supported the AG's call for a credible growth strategy that catalyses investment in clean technologies. To see more on this, click here.
Mr Young added: "The propsal to publish a strategy to promote gas generation and tax breaks for oil exploration sits uncomfortably with our statutory carbon budgets which future chancellors may regret. Equivalent tax measures for low carbon investment would have stimulated jobs fit for the future and provided more resilience to our economy."
Green Budget would kick start growth
Some of the UK's largest businesses and green groups have called on the Chancellor to deliver on the Government's commitment to be "the greenest ever". In an open letter published in the run up to the Budget, it calls for a credible growth strategy that catalyses investment in renewables and energy efficiency, spurring the economic recovery.
Peter Young, Chairman of the Aldersgate Group, said: "The Chancellor's view that businesses and jobs will be lost in the pursuit of green goals seems to signal a return to a 1980s view of the environmental performance of the economy as a net cost, and to row back from previous statements made by this Government. On the contrary, as this letter makes clear, good environmental performance is now a prerequisite for economic competitiveness and growth in a resource constrained world."
For more on this story click here.
Job opportunity: Policy Officer
We are looking for a motivated, enthusiastic individual educated to degree standard in a relevant discipline, to join our team as Policy Officer. This is an opportunity to work with major corporates, NGOs, industry associations and high profile individuals to work for real change in the UK policy landscape.
The successful candidate will have excellent written and oral communication skills, a sound understanding of environmental issues and policy making process and a desire to contribute to the green agenda. For a full job specification and candidate profile, see the adjacent pdf.
To apply, send a covering letter (max 1 side A4) and CV (max 2 sides A4), with a sample of your written work (max 2 sides A4), to Victoria Fleming-Williams (email@example.com). The closing date is Monday 2nd April at 5pm. Interviews will be held w/c 2nd or w/c 9th April at our offices in central London. The successful candidate will be invited to start immediately
AG welcomes Resource Security Action Plan
The Government's Resource Security Action Plan, published today, cites the Aldersgate Group's Beyond Carbon report as evidence for the need for a targeted resource strategy, and answers our call to develop a dashboard to raise awareness and help companies understand the risk and issues associated with the security of materials.
Peter Young, Chairman of the Aldersgate Group, said: "The era of plentiful and cheaper resources is over. Our business members are facing rising costs for essential raw materials and minerals, while constraints on their availability and price volatility are having a damaging effect on the economy.
That is why the Aldersgate Group has been calling for a strategy which goes beyond carbon to address critical resource efficiency challenges in all areas of the economy, to remain competitive in global markets, both now and in the future. The Government's action plan is a welcome first step to ensure that growth isn't damaged by potential supply uncertainty and the UK gains competitive advantage from increased resilience."
For Guardian coverage, click here.
GIB should sell green bonds from 2013
Peter Young, Chairman of the Aldersgate Group (AG), told Bloomberg that the GIB should be able to issue bonds to help finance clean-energy projects such as renewable technologies from April 2013. He said that "the earlier bonds are issued, the faster we should get the Green Investment Bank leveraging off institutional investors and deploying capital at the scale the low carbon transition needs to meet our carbon targets and economic imperatives." For the full Bloomberg article, click here.
Commenting on the announcement on location a few days later, Peter said, "We welcome the decision and in particular the opportunity for the GIB to have a dual presence in both London and Edinburgh. This will ensure proximity to the London financial centre which will be vital, but also create a talent pool based nearer some of the key markets for low carbon project delivery, such as Scottish marine renewables. We look forward to swift recruitment to build the excellent expertise necessary to build market confidence in the GIB."
MP's debate Low Carbon Industrial Strategy
Shadow Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Caroline Flint, moved an Opposition debate in the House of Commons on 5th March on jobs and growth in a low-carbon economy. For further information click here.
The motion called on the Government to bring forward an active industrial strategy for low-carbon growth by providing a stable policy framework to unlock private investment, improving public procurement, developing a low-carbon skills strategy and encourage manufacturing. This followed a speech Caroline Flint gave at the Aldersgate Group (click here), cited in the Commons debate, that outlined the details for such a strategy.
In addition, Vince Cable gave a speech on the 27th Feb on the next step's for an industrial strategy and what role the Government can, and should, play in relation to specific sectors, technologies, and public procurement. For further information, click here.