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DfID Minister Supports AG Initiative on Aid to Trade

22nd March 2013

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

22nd March 2013

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"

21st March 2013

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.


2013 Budget Signals Shift Away from Clean Technologies

20th March 2013

In response to the 2013 Budget, Andrew Raingold, Executive Director of the Aldersgate Group, told the BBCGuardian 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."

Car manufacturing

2030 Decarbonisation Target Must be Brought Forward

13th March 2013

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

6th March 2013

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.

Treasury blocks review on resource security

5th March 2013

The Aldersgate Group has written to the Financial Times following revelations that the Treasury has blocked a review on resource depletion, climate change and growth that had the support across Whitehall departments.

Andrew Raingold, Executive Director of the Aldersgate Group, said: "By blocking this review, the Treasury is damaging future growth prospects. Rising and volatile commodity prices are having a material impact on business. An independent analysis on how these major trends effect UK competitiveness is widely supported by business leaders and across Government departments. The Chancellor must address resource risks urgently to build a more resilient economy that exports the solutions to global challenges."

See coverage in the FT and BusinessGreen.


Low carbon key to escape sluggish growth

4th March 2013

4th March 2013

Andrew Raingold, Executive Director of the Aldersgate Group, spoke at the launch of the Green Book at the Houses of Parliament. The book proposes innovative new directions for the Liberal Democrats to put the environment at the heart of the economy.  

He said: "Nick Clegg is absolutely right to say in the foreword that green policies are of crucial importance to economic recovery and a central component of a stronger economy. Not only is this vital in the short-term, providing 10 per cent of UK GDP, but also in the long-term. Trends in the global economy are moving decisively away from Britain and the book outlines a number of effective proposals for how regulation, taxation and other policy levers could be a pillar of future growth that all political parties should take note of."