Direct Energy into Prudent Solutions
Responding to an article by Martin Wolf in the Financial Times on "why the world faces climate chaos", Andrew Raingold, Executive Director of the Aldersgate Group, said that "there is an alternative to watching the rise of greenhouse gases until it is too late".
In a letter published in the FT on 17th May, Mr Raingold argued that the technologies are available to meet the climate chaos challenge. He said: "analysis from a number of internationally respected organisations, such as the International Energy Agency, demonstrate that the technical challenges of scale and cost reduction can be reasonably circumvented to address energy security, economic development, climate change and universal access to modern energy services. This can be unlocked through active political and business leadership around a sellable vision of a prosperous low carbon economy that Mr Wolf describes, rather than waiting until after the event."
Tim Yeo MP warns of energy investment hiatus
AG member Tim Yeo MP, Chair of the Energy and Climate Change Committee, has urged the Government to clarify key Energy Bill details before the summer recess or risk months of stalled energy investment. This includes how the capacity mechanism will work, confirm the strike prices that will be available through the CfD regime for different technologies, successfully conclude the long-running nuclear negotiations, and adopt the amendment for a decarbonisation target for the power sector.
He told Business Green: "There's been widespread support for the (2030 decarbonisation) target, and not just from the usual suspects. We've seen business groups with broad support, such as the Aldersgate Group and the Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change, supporting the proposal - it is not confined to those businesses with a direct interest in the [clean energy] supply chain."
Businesses explore opportunities of circular economy
Andrew Raingold, Executive Director of the Aldersgate Group, said that businesses increasingly recognise that they have to act decisively to prevent an impending resource crunch.
Chairing the Resource Scarcity and The Circular Economy Conference for Sustainable Business Magazine, he said "We have heard from our speakers today that the resource crunch is not just a major risk for businesses, but also can be a net creator of jobs and growth. The fact that 43% of businesses recognise that they have to revise their product and service offerings, as demonstrated by the presentation by Tom Delay from the Carbon Trust, shows that corporate leaders are slowly waking up to this issue."
"The speakers today have also emphasised the need for collaboration and partnerships. The resource revolution challenge requires system level change and can rarely by addressed effectively by actors in isolation. That includes a strong and proactive role for Government."
DfID Minister Supports AG Initiative on Aid to Trade
Baroness Northover, the Government's Lords Spokesperson on international development, supported a new initiative by the Aldersgate Group and CDKN on business partnerships for climate compatible development.
She said at the launch event: "We must work in parallel to the international climate negotiations to demonstrate that low carbon and climate resilient projects are viable and desirable. And this presents all of us with opportunities as well as challenges.
The public and private sectors must work together to help communities and countries of debt adapt to the impacts of climate change that we cannot avoid, support countries to prosper and grow in ways that reduce carbon emissions, and forge a stronger and more climate resilient global economy...and that is why working with the private sector is at the heart of the Government’s approach."
2030 decarbonisation target: MP rebellion gathers pace
Andrew Stunnell has become the latest MP to sign an amendment to the Energy Bill, introducing a 2030 carbon target for the power sector. His signature brings the total number of Lib Dems to 9, who – along with 4 Conservatives – have confirmed that they are willing to vote against the Government to secure a low carbon energy future for the UK.
The Aldersgate Group and its members wrote to the Chancellor last year, setting out why a 2030 power sector carbon target is essential for growth. Since then, the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s impact assessment has shown that early power sector decarbonisation results in a net benefit to the economy of £4.5-7.8bn.
Dropping climate change from the curriculum would be "arcane"
Andrew Raingold, Executive Director of the Aldersgate Group, responding to proposals to remove climate change from the national curriculum for under 14-year-olds, said: "Dropping climate change from the curriculum is indefensible and arcane. Education must prepare the next generation for the pressing challenges that they will face if they are to have any chance of securing their future prosperity.
Many chief executives are currently working in partnership with Government to strengthen the skill needs to address the risks and opportunities of a resource constrained world. The curriculum proposals are in direct conflict with future skill requirements and pressing business needs."
Mr Raingold has signed a petition to Michael Gove to "Keep Climate Change in the Curriculum" by 15 year old Esha Marwaha from Hounslow.
Aldersgate Group is Recruiting: Deputy Director
The Aldersgate Group is recruiting a Deputy Director to launch its high profile and innovative "New Economy" initiative.
We are looking for an imaginative and politically savvy individual to design and lead the campaign, which will seek to shift national economic planning onto a longer-term and more sustainable footing.
For a full job spec and candidate requirements, see attached pdf. Applicants are asked to email their CV and covering letter (max 1 side of A4) to Victoria (address in pdf), by 10am on Monday 15th April. Interviews will be held w/c 29th April.
2013 Budget Signals Shift Away from Clean Technologies
In response to the 2013 Budget, Andrew Raingold, Executive Director of the Aldersgate Group, told the BBC, Guardian and Guardian Business: "The Chancellor has prioritised increasing exports to the fast growing regions of the world but there is little support in the budget for green industries that have a strong foothold in these markets and a trade surplus of £5 billion. Rather than tax breaks for shale gas, the UK needs a clear regulatory framework that will drive investment and export opportunities for low carbon technologies."
Aldersgate Group member Nathan Goode, partner and head of energy, environment and sustainability at Grant Thornton UK, told the Guardian: "the budget statement confirms that the current focus of this government's energy investment strategy is perpetuating the use of fossil fuels rather than investing further in alternatives, with measures to support shale gas exploration and the development of two carbon capture and storage projects."
2030 Decarbonisation Target Must be Brought Forward
The Aldersgate Group has written to MPs on behalf of leading UK companies to bring forward the 2030 decarbonisation target and support an amendment to the Energy Bill tabled by AG member Tim Yeo MP and Barry Gardiner MP.
Andrew Raingold, Executive Director of the Aldersgate Group, said: "Today’s uncertainty about the UK’s energy future is undermining private investment in vital infrastructure and wider economic growth. Prolonging this strategic uncertainty until 2016 and making it subject to the outcome of the next election risks creating a 3 year hiatus in investment and causing the UK to lose competitiveness in low-carbon energy supply chains. That is why leading UK businesses are supporting an amendment to the Energy Bill to ensure the economy is not locked into increasingly expensive and volatile high-carbon energy."
AG welcomes report on ecosystem services
The Ecosystem Markets Task Force (EMTF) has published its Final Report, making the business case for why nature matters. It finds that business is often unaware of its true reliance on nature and a new way of looking at nature will create innovation and mitigate risk. It recommends interventions which would help create new markets, enhance opportunities for growth and also benefit the environment.
Peter Young, Chairman of the Aldersgate Group and a member of the Task Force said: "The report demonstrates the significant benefits that can be achieved for business and the natural environment through integrated thinking. The Aldersgate Group agrees that safeguarding the quality of our natural environment, will benefit our economic performance."
In November 2011 the Aldersgate Group published its report, Pricing the Priceless, which found that incorporating the value of nature into decision-making will be vital to safeguard long-term economic growth.