Responding to the report by the Environmental Audit Committee to "restore confidence in energy policy", Andrew Raingold, Executive Director of the Aldersgate Group, said: "Ministers need to sit up and pay attention to the long and growing line-up of supporters for a 2030 power sector carbon target. The Environmental Audit Committee has today added its voice to businesses, industry bodies, energy utilities, NGOs and MPs across the country that have repeatedly made the economic case for such a target this autumn."
"If the Autumn Statement is going to kick start growth and jobs, it must provide the certainty on our energy future that businesses have been demanding. The policy grid lock is already damaging low carbon investment and capital allocation."
In a new report into the Autumn Statement, the cross-party Environmental Audit Committee finds that Treasury led ‘dash for gas’ could make the UK’s carbon targets under the Climate Change Act unachievable. The Committee is calling on the Government to restore investor confidence in the future direction of energy policy by setting a clear decarbonisation objective in the forthcoming Energy Bill.
The Committee's report can be downloaded from here.
Responding to the Government announcement that every new regulation that imposes a new financial burden on firms must be offset by reductions in red tape that will save double those costs, Peter Young, Chairman of the Aldersgate Group, has argued that such arbitrary targets can lead to perverse outcomes for business.
He said: "There is no analysis of the quality of regulation or the need for Impact Assessments to better take into account the full externalities on the environment or society. As a result this quest for monetary savings risks losing the purpose of best value regulation to correct market failures and provide fair competition."
In response to a letter by 20 Conservative MPs to David Cameron expressing their concern on the green economy, Andrew Raingold, Executive Director of the Aldersgate Group, said that more needs to be done to trumpet its growth potential.
He told the Guardian: "While the green economy has been a key pillar for growth in the UK's recovery from the global economic crash, policy uncertainty and mixed messages from ministers are undermining this success story. The environmental sector is an area where the UK has strong foundations on which to build and can be one of the building blocks of a genuine export-led recovery in advanced manufacturing and know-how. With competitor economies rapidly building up their capabilities to take advantage of a lucrative global market, it will take strong and consistent UK government leadership to turn its green economy vision into reality."
The Ecosystem Markets Task Force, which brings together industry leaders and experts from a wide range of business sectors, has published its Interim Report, detailing its emerging thinking on why nature should matter to business and the potential opportunities for business from valuing nature correctly.
Peter Young, Chairman of the Aldersgate Group and a member of the Task Force, said: "The Task Force is doing ground breaking work underpinned by some excellent research. This Interim Report sheds a light on why our failure to value the natural environment is impoverishing business, the environment and society as a whole.
"I hope that Government will respond to this business-led initiative to give the structures and certainties for new markets to be developed, to build a leadership position for the UK. Making nature an integral part of business thinking is the only way to go."
Andrew Raingold, Executive Director of the Aldersgate Group, told Channel 4 News that Britain's economic growth will be further damaged by fresh confusion over windfarms and renewable energy.
He said: "The coalition's continued in-fighting about renewable energy is damaging growth. Business - the engine of growth - has been vocal about the competitive and economic advantage of a low carbon electricity supply in the UK."
"Renewable energy sources are a prudent investment: allowing the nation to hedge against future fossil fuel price volatility and benefit from greater long term cost certainty. These are at the heart of creating a positive environment for business."
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