LATEST

See our latest news and commentary on environmental policy
and politics. To join our mailing list, please click here. For any media enquiries,
please get in touch.

Filter

National Infrastructure Bank must drive investment in low carbon and natural capital projects

8th February 2021

The Aldersgate Group is part of a group of twenty organisations which wrote a letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer last week to make recommendations for the design and mission of the new UK National Infrastructure Bank, as announced in the 2020 Spending Review. As the UK faces the triple crises of climate, biodiversity and COVID-19, the Aldersgate Group believes that a core focus of the Bank should be to play a vital role in setting long-term committed public funding and unlocking further private finance. This approach can drive the Prime Minister’s desire for a green industrial revolution across the country and help the UK bounce back from the COVID-19 crisis.  

The Bank should be established as a mission-driven institution with a legal mandate to achieve the levelling up agenda, the UK’s net zero emissions target and its ambition to reverse the decline of the natural environment within a generation. The Bank’s primary objective should be to genuinely address market failures and act as a de-risking vehicle to ‘crowd in’ private capital towards the technologies, skills and institutions that will be needed to build a thriving net zero emissions economy. These should include the emerging technologies needed to decarbonise complex parts of the economy, such as hydrogen and carbon capture, use and storage, but also natural capital and nature-based solutions.

Alongside twenty other signatories, the Aldersgate Group believes that the National Infrastructure Bank should be fully independent, led by an experienced public banker and a board which reflects the sectors with which the bank will interact. It should also have sufficient funding to carry out its mission and functions. Finally, signatories call on the Bank to have the power to access capital markets for both debt and equity, and to create opportunities for citizens to participate and invest in the UK’s transition to a net zero emissions economy.

The letter to the Chancellor was supported by a detailed policy briefing accessible here.


Businesses need nature at heart of economic policy making

2nd February 2021

Reacting to the publication of Professor Sir Partha Dasgupta’s Independent Review on the Economics of Biodiversity, Signe Norberg, Head of Public Affairs and Communications at the Aldersgate Group, said: "The publication of the Dasgupta Review today powerfully demonstrates the huge disconnect between current models of economic growth and the state of nature. Given the alarming rate at which some natural assets are being depleted, today’s review must constitute a vital step change in how we assess nature and measure economic success. Concretely, this means that it is high time we look beyond GDP and include natural capital at the heart of our economic measurement tools, something which many businesses and financial institutions have raised for a number of years [1]. It is also essential that the Government’s net zero and nature restoration agendas be progressed hand in hand given how interconnected they both are."

Signe Norberg added: "It is clear from the findings of the Dasgupta Review that a wide range of actions need to be taken to halt and reverse biodiversity loss, including growing investment in nature restoration and resource efficiency, accelerating the transition to net zero emissions, and embedding environmental sustainability at the heart of the education system. It is therefore essential that today’s findings now drive stronger commitments as part of the Environment Bill, the integration of biodiversity net gain in the planning system, the implementation of the Resources and Waste Strategy, the development of the UK’s net zero strategy and the Government’s ongoing review of skills policy."

- ENDS -

[1] The Aldersgate Group published a report in November 2015, Investing in our natural assets: how government can support business action, which highlighted important steps to ensure the UK achieves a resilient and competitive economy that carefully maintains and improves the state of its natural resources.

Bee-On-Flower

Businesses call for binding interim targets in the Environment Bill

26th January 2021

Today the Aldersgate Group and several of its business members have published a letter calling on MPs to support an amendment to make interim targets legally binding when the Environment Bill returns to Parliament on Tuesday 26 January.

The Environment Bill is a vital opportunity to establish a new, ambitious and robust governance framework that protects and enhances the natural environment. Amongst other things, the Bill sets the foundation for a new independent environmental watchdog to hold the government to account, creates long-term binding targets within priority areas (air quality, water, biodiversity, and resource efficiency and waste reduction), and introduces interim targets to support the delivery of long-term targets.

To meet its ambition and put in place a strong a strong framework to deliver environmental improvements, businesses are calling for binding interim targets in the Environment Bill. Having strong interim targets in place to drive progress on the long-term targets helps ensure that government remains on track to meet them, and it provides businesses with a clear policy and regulatory framework to invest in. Without them, we risk backloading action which could undermine the delivery of long-term targets and make their delivery more costly.

This is why the Aldersgate Group and several businesses are calling on MPs to support an amendment to the Environment Bill which strengthens the Bill by expanding the Secretary of State’s duty to include meeting interim targets, in addition to meeting the long-term targets and the PM2.5 target.

- THE LETTER -

We represent businesses active across the UK economy and share the Prime Minister’s vision for a green economic recovery and the development of a world-class environmental policy framework in the UK. We fully support the Government’s Environment Bill and in particular the commitment to introducing binding long-term targets to improve the state of the natural environment in areas such as air and water quality, biodiversity and resource efficiency.

However, to support their credibility and avoid backloading action, these long-term targets must be underpinned by regular and binding milestones that will require successive governments to act without delay. This will provide the business community with a predictable and comprehensive set of policies, which will drive investment in the natural environment and improved environmental performance.

As the Environment Bill nears Royal Assent, we call on the Bill to be strengthened, by making interim targets binding. We stand ready to work closely with Government to deliver the improvements to our natural environment that our society and economy urgently need.

Signed:

Nick Molho, Executive Director, Aldersgate Group

Alex Plant, Director of Strategy and Regulation, Anglian Water

Sue Riddlestone, CEO, Bioregional

Peter Jelkeby, Country Retail Manager and Chief Sustainability Officer, IKEA UK and Ireland

Mathew Riley, Managing Director, Ramboll

John Scanlon, Chief Executive Officer, SUEZ

Bevis Watts, CEO, Triodos Bank UK

Julia Barrett, Chief Sustainability Officer, Willmott Dixon

Jim Coleman, Director – Head of Economics, WSP

CIRCLE_pexels-photomix-company-1002703

Work on the Environment Bill must continue at pace despite delay

26th January 2021

Reacting to the delay of the Environment Bill, Signe Norberg, Head of Public Affairs and Communications at the Aldersgate Group, said: “While the delay to the Environment Bill due to the coronavirus pandemic is understandable, it is vital that Government uses this additional time to consider amendments to strengthen the Bill. This should entail making interim targets binding to ensure continuous action to improve the natural environment, introducing an overarching target which helps guide the setting of the long-term targets, and safeguarding the Office for Environmental Protection’s independence. Businesses want an ambitious Bill that requires successive governments to act urgently and introduce tangible policy measures to significantly improve the state of the natural environment. An ambitious and predictable policy environment is essential to incentivise private investment in nature restoration, improved environmental performance and more resource efficient business models. [1]”

- ENDS -

[1] Aldersgate Group and several of its business members have published a letter calling on MPs to support an amendment to make interim targets legally binding when the Environment Bill returns to Parliament on Tuesday 26 January. Please go here to read more: https://www.aldersgategroup.org.uk/latest#businesses-call-for-binding-interim-targets-in-the-environment-bill

Natcap

Skills for Jobs White Paper can tackle skills shortages and provide routes into employment, but focus on sustainability is needed

21st January 2021

Reacting to the publication of the Skills for Jobs White Paper today, Ana Musat, Head of Policy at Aldersgate Group, said: “The Government has set forth an ambitious vision for lifelong learning, with a particularly welcome focus on devising a more employer-led education and training curriculum. The focus on reforming apprenticeships and technical training will be essential in tackling some of the main skills shortages facing our economy at present, most notably in sectors like construction and engineering.

However, it is equally important to ensure that this vision for education and training is attuned to the needs of a low carbon economy, which is why Government should build on this White Paper to include a greater focus on sustainability. To maximise the significant job creation potential provided by a green recovery and the UK’s environmental and climate goals, the White Paper needs to recognise the importance of increasing the low carbon skills provision and embed sustainability throughout the national curriculum across all stages of the education system.[1] The announcement of new Local Skills Improvement Plans is a step in the right direction, but further improvements will need to be made to ensure that the UK’s current and future workforce have the skills that are required.”
 
Ana Musat added: “In addition to creating the supply of skills required, Government needs to urgently publish a net zero strategy, outlining decarbonisation pathways for key sectors of the economy, to increase employer demand for these skills.[2] Through the work of the Build Back Better Council, there is an important opportunity to identify the policy decisions necessary to get to net zero and their social implications, including the levelling up challenge, the productivity puzzle and the skills deficit.”

—ENDS—

[1] On 15 October 2020, the Aldersgate Group published a policy briefing, Upskilling the UK workforce for the 21st century, calling for a low carbon skills strategy to plug the UK’s skills deficit. The briefing put forward a five-point plan of action which can be accessed here: https://www.aldersgategroup.org.uk/latest#skills-deficit-needs-to-be-urgently-tackled-to-get-to-net-zero 

[2] On 5 October 2020, the Aldersgate Group launched a major report, Building a net zero emissions economy, looking at the key policy measures needed in this parliamentary term to put the UK economic on a credible pathway to net zero emissions: https://www.aldersgategroup.org.uk/latest#businesses-call-for-urgent-policy-decisions-to-put-uk-economy-on-track-for-net-zero-emissions 

CIRCLE_pexels-pixabay-258117

Reactive to Alok Sharma becoming full-time COP26 President

8th January 2021

Responding to the announcement that Alok Sharma will become full-time President of the UN COP26 climate conference, Nick Molho, Executive Director at the Aldersgate Group, said: "The UK has an important role to play as the host of COP26 to drive international ambition to tackle climate change. It is therefore welcome to see Alok Sharma MP taking on the role of COP26 President full-time to focus on this vital agenda. Having hosted the Climate Ambition Summit at the end of December, now is the time to build further international commitments to deliver the increase in global emission reduction targets that climate science is urgently calling for."
 
Nick Molho added: "Domestic progress will be vital to strengthen the UK’s leadership role ahead of and during the international summit. We therefore warmly welcome the appointments of Kwasi Kwarteng MP and Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP to the vital roles of Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and Minister of State for Business, Energy and Clean Growth respectively. These roles will be essential in putting the UK on track to meet its net zero emissions target."

CIRCLE_2pexels-naveen-annam-1581693

Future collaboration will help UK and EU deliver shared environmental and climate goals

24th December 2020

Reacting to the news that an agreement had been reached on a trade deal between the UK and EU, Nick Molho, Executive Director at the Aldersgate Group, said: “In the current challenging economic context, the agreement of a deal between the EU and UK is welcome and will provide a degree of clarity to businesses in the UK and Europe. The UK and the EU are both aiming to achieve climate neutrality by 2050 and overturn the major declines in biodiversity and the state of the natural environment. Businesses will want to see both parties continue to innovate and work together to meet these goals, grow low carbon trade and build global political momentum on climate and environmental issues. We would encourage both parties to use the upcoming COP26 climate summit to put this collaborative approach into practice.”

Nick Molho added: “Beyond today’s deal with the EU, it is essential that the UK’s trade agreements with the rest of the world are consistent with its net zero emissions and other environmental targets. This should include promoting high standards on the environment and climate change, reducing barriers for trade in low carbon goods and services, and protecting the UK’s future right to regulate on environmental and climate change policy issues.”[1]

- ENDS -

[1] In June 2020, Aldersgate Group published a policy briefing, Aligning the UK's Trade Policy with its Climate and Environmental Goals, outlining how the UK should use the opportunity to develop its own trade policy to deliver its domestic climate and environmental targets: https://www.aldersgategroup.org.uk/latest/page:2#uk-trade-policy-must-be-aligned-with-environmental-and-climate-goals 

CIRCLE_shutterstock_1460208074

We're recruiting! Senior Policy Officer, 1 year contract

18th December 2020

The Group is looking to hire a highly motivated Senior Policy Officer (one year fixed term contract). The successful candidate will join a small Secretariat of seven in to provide policy for Aldersgate Group members, the Board and the rest of the Secretariat on the industrial decarbonisation programme.

Main duties and responsibilities:

  • Undertaking research that supports the Group’s strategic objectives to tackle industrial emissions whilst safeguarding the sustainable growth and competitiveness of the sector; 
  • Managing a major piece of external analysis to be published by Summer 2021;
  • Building an informal ‘coalition of the willing’ ahead of COP26, comprising of members, relevant networks and leading businesses and NGOs, that can support and amplify the Group’s policy asks on industrial decarbonisation to Government;
  • Maintaining an excellent understanding of current industrial / low carbon policy issues to inform other areas of the Group’s policy work;
  • Developing policy reports and briefings, policy updates for Aldersgate Group members and timely blogs for the website;
  • Putting together responses to relevant parliamentary inquiries and government consultations;
  • Supporting preparation for policy meetings and events attended by the Head of Policy or Executive Director through the production of briefings and meeting notes;
  • Representing the Aldersgate Group at external policy meetings or events where relevant;
  • Liaising with the Senior Communications Officer to ensure effective internal and external engagement with the Group’s policy work.

The closing date for the receipt of applications is 9am on Monday 18th January. Applications received after this time will not be considered. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide individual feedback on applications. Successful applicants will be invited to interview on w/c 25 January. See the full job description for more details.


Energy White Paper: rapid energy decarbonisation is vital to net zero

14th December 2020

Today, the Aldersgate Group welcomes the Energy White Paper’s recognition of the central role of rapid energy decarbonisation in creating a net zero economy. To build on today’s important announcements and put the UK on a credible pathway to net zero, the Government should focus in 2021 on aligning the UK ETS with the net zero goal, create the conditions for full power sector decarbonisation by 2035 and develop market mechanisms to stimulate greater private investment in low carbon buildings and heavy industry.

Nick Molho, Executive Director at the Aldersgate Group, said: "The Energy White Paper should be commended for looking beyond just energy and recognising the central role of the power sector in supporting the decarbonisation of a wide range of sectors, including heating, transport and heavy industry. In many ways, the Energy White Paper sets out a low carbon industrial strategy vision for the UK and is based on the right premise that achieving net zero emissions can deliver significant supply chain growth and job creation across many regions of the UK.

The commitment to a UK Emissions Trading Scheme and the ambition to fully decarbonise the power sector are both welcome, but it is clear from the sixth carbon budget that we need a zero carbon power sector by 2035, together with significant investments in grid reinforcements, storage and flexibility services. All of these areas need to become policy priorities in the early 2020s, alongside the development of a carbon price trajectory aligned with the net zero target and a strategic approach to marine planning to support the rapid and environmentally sensitive deployment of offshore wind."

Nick Molho added: "The Government rightly recognised today that progress in energy efficiency and low carbon heat deployment must be accelerated after years of stagnation. Beyond the support provided by the Green Homes Grant, it is essential that binding regulatory standards and supportive fiscal incentives are introduced to stimulate private investment over the next 15 years to retrofit the nation’s buildings and 28 million homes. Low carbon heating installation should become the norm by the early 2030s, and the Future Homes Standard needs to set ambitious requirements in this regard for new buildings from 2025." [1]

Nick Molho concluded: "Significant job creation can be achieved through the decarbonisation of the energy sector and heavy industry, where market mechanisms will be rapidly needed to grow demand for low carbon industrial goods. Supporting the transition of workers from oil and gas towards marine renewables, hydrogen production and carbon capture and storage is therefore essential. This should form part of a broader national strategy to plug the UK’s low carbon skills gap and ensure that the current and future workforce are provided with the skills and re-training they require to access employment opportunities in the transition to a net zero emissions economy. The Aldersgate Group looks forward to supporting the Green Jobs Taskforce in this regard." [2]

- ENDS -

[1] On 5 October, the Aldersgate Group launched a major report, Building a net zero emissions economy, looking at the key policy measures needed in this parliamentary term to put the UK economic on a credible pathway to net zero emissions: https://www.aldersgategroup.org.uk/latest#businesses-call-for-urgent-policy-decisions-to-put-uk-economy-on-track-for-net-zero-emissions

[2] On 15 October, the Aldersgate Group published a policy briefing, Upskilling the UK workforce for the 21st century, calling for a low carbon skills strategy to plug the UK’s skills deficit. The briefing put forward a five-point plan of action which can be accessed here: https://www.aldersgategroup.org.uk/latest#skills-deficit-needs-to-be-urgently-tackled-to-get-to-net-zero

CIRCLE_pexels-laura-penwell-3608056

Climate Ambition Summit: collaboration on carbon markets and net zero delivery key to success of COP26

12th December 2020

The Aldersgate Group welcomes the leadership shown by the UK Government at the Climate Ambition Summit today and the priorities that it outlined for COP26. The Group argued that pressing ahead with a net zero delivery plan for the UK and encouraging greater international collaboration around carbon markets, green economic recovery, and net zero delivery would all increase the chances of success at COP26.

Nick Molho, Executive Director at the Aldersgate Group, said: “The UK Government has made significant progress ahead of COP26 by building an international coalition of the willing at today’s summit. Continued efforts in this area will be vital to deliver the increase in global emission reduction targets that climate science is urgently calling for.

The priority themes chosen for the summit – ranging from energy transitions to green finance and nature-based solutions – all have the potential to deliver global commitments in important areas where accelerated progress is needed. Particular focus should also be paid to delivering progress on carbon markets, and in particular the mechanisms of Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, as these will play a central role in helping countries deliver on their emission reduction commitments."

Nick Molho added: “Having shown leadership through its net zero target and its increased nationally determined contribution for 2030, the UK can help maximise its influence at the summit by adopting the recent recommendations from the Climate Change Committee for the sixth carbon budget and putting in place a comprehensive net zero delivery plan ahead of the COP [1]. With the UK also hosting the G7 summit in 2021, the Government will have a highly strategic and influential role to play in the year ahead and could increase the chances of success at COP26 by encouraging international collaboration on green economic recovery and net zero delivery plan [2]."

—ENDS—

[1] On 5 October, the Aldersgate Group launched a major report, Building a net zero emissions economy, looking at the key policy measures needed in this parliamentary term to put the UK economic on a credible pathway to net zero emissions: https://www.aldersgategroup.org.uk/latest#businesses-call-for-urgent-policy-decisions-to-put-uk-economy-on-track-for-net-zero-emissions

[2] The Aldersgate Group recently commissioned economic analysis from Dimitri Zenghelis & James Rydge at the Grantham Research Institute at the London School of Economics (July 2020), showing the central role of low carbon and natural capital investments in supporting global economic recovery. You can access Rebuilding to last: designing an inclusive and resilient growth strategy after COVID-19 here: https://www.aldersgategroup.org.uk/latest/page:2#rebuilding-to-last-uk-must-not-go-back-to-the-old-normal

CIRCLE_shutterstock_268677542

UK sends major signal ahead of COP26 with greening of UK Export Finance

11th December 2020

Reacting to the Government's announcement on ending fossil fuel support overseas through UK export finance, aid funding and trade promotion, Nick Molho, Executive Director at the Aldersgate Group, said: “We warmly welcome the Prime Minister’s commitment ahead of the Climate Ambition Summit to end support for fossil fuel sectors overseas and shift to financing low carbon energy projects. In doing so, the UK has sent a clear signal to the wider investment market about the importance of aligning financial flows with climate objectives and has put in place the right conditions to have the world’s greenest export credit agency ahead of its COP26 presidency. In order to prevent major stranded asset projects, we urge the government to implement this change as soon as possible, with all future projects in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement. Government should build on today’s announcement by ensuring that environmental and climate objectives are placed at the centre of our future trade policy, with robust scrutiny measures inserted into the Trade Bill currently passing through Parliament." [1]

- ENDS -

[1] The Aldersgate Group's trade briefing, Aligning the UK’s trade policy with its climate and environmental goals, calls on the UK government to ensure its upcoming trade agreements are supportive of the UK’s environmental and climate ambitions. The report can be found here: https://www.aldersgategroup.org.uk/latest/page:2#uk-trade-policy-must-be-aligned-with-environmental-and-climate-goals

CIRCLE_pexels-akil-mazumder-1072824

Sixth carbon budget: an unprecedented investment opportunity for UK plc

9th December 2020

Today, the Aldersgate Group welcomed the publication of the Committee on Climate Change’s sixth carbon budget and its recommendation of an emission reduction target of 78% by 2035. The Group argued that this ambitious but feasible target represents a unique investment and supply chain growth opportunity for UK businesses. To be delivered on the ground, today’s carbon budget will need to be supported by rapid policy decisions in areas such as buildings, heavy industry and carbon pricing.

Reacting to the budget, Ana Musat, Head of Policy at the Aldersgate Group, said: “The CCC has set a huge, but feasible, investment challenge for the UK economy for the next 15 years and one where the private sector will have to do most of the heavy lifting. This budget represents an opportunity for the UK to get the economy going again as it emerges from the COVID-19 crisis and to invest in innovation, grow supply chains and create jobs in areas such offshore wind, EV manufacturing, low carbon industrial goods, building renovation and green finance. As more countries take on net zero emissions targets, the export opportunities for the UK could also be significant: by 2030, the global market for low carbon goods will be worth more than £1 trillion a year, representing an increase of 7 to 12 times on today, with the market for low carbon services growing in tandem." [1]

Ana Musat added: “We welcome the recent steps taken by government to meet this ambition, including the publication of the Ten Point Plan and its commitments on offshore wind and the phase out of petrol and diesel vehicle sales. To support the private sector in delivering the ambition of the sixth carbon budget on time and at low cost, the Government now needs to put forward a comprehensive net zero delivery plan, which sets out clear policy signals for all key emitting sectors of the economy. [2]
 
Such a plan should include introducing binding energy efficiency performance standards and fiscal incentives that ensure that all new buildings are ultra-low carbon and that existing homes meet a level of energy efficiency of at least EPC band C by 2035 at the latest. Other key priorities should include strengthening the grid to support the full decarbonisation of the power sector by the end of the decade, setting up a UK Emissions Trading Scheme aligned with the net zero target with a starting price of at least £40 per tCO2 [3] and introducing measures such as product standards and green public procurement to grow the demand for ultra-low carbon industrial goods." [4]

—ENDS—

[1] Ricardo AEA (2017) UK business opportunities of moving to a low carbon economy. Available at: https://www.theccc.org.uk/publication/uk-climate-change-risk-assessment-2017/ 
 
[2] On 5 October, the Aldersgate Group launched a major report, Building a net zero emissions economy, looking at the key policy measures needed in this parliamentary term to put the UK economic on a credible pathway to net zero emissions: https://www.aldersgategroup.org.uk/latest#businesses-call-for-urgent-policy-decisions-to-put-uk-economy-on-track-for-net-zero-emissions
 
[3, 4]  Dimitri Zenghelis & James Rydge (July 2020) Rebuilding to last: designing an inclusive and resilient growth strategy after COVID-19, commissioned by the Aldersgate Group. Available at: https://www.aldersgategroup.org.uk/asset/1684

CIRCLE_shutterstock_1192264885

UK NDC needs to be supported by comprehensive net zero delivery plan

3rd December 2020

Reacting to the Prime Minister’s announcement that the UK will set its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to at least 68% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by the end of the decade, Signe Norberg, Head of Public Affairs and Communications at the Aldersgate Group, said: "It is welcome to see the UK announce a NDC which aligns with the Climate Change Committee’s advice and paves the way for achieving our net zero emissions target by 2050. As host of COP26, the UK should galvanise international action on emissions reductions, setting an ambitious precedent for others to follow. For today’s commitment to be credible and facilitate business progress towards decarbonisation, it needs to be paired with a comprehensive and joined-up net zero strategy which builds on the Prime Minister’s 10 Point Plan."

Signe Norberg added: "The government now needs to back this up with clear domestic measures to drive down emissions in hard to abate sectors, such as heavy industry and long-distance transport, and in sectors that are currently not covered by the NDC like shipping and aviation. Creating a robust regulatory framework and the market mechanisms to facilitate at-scale deployment of key technologies will be essential in the months to come."

CIRCLE_shutterstock_1460208077

Reactive to Spending Review 2020

25th November 2020

Reacting to the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s Spending Review, Nick Molho, Executive Director at the Aldersgate Group, said: “The challenging economic context presented by the Chancellor of the Exchequer today underscores the importance of aligning the UK’s spending commitments with the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan and the UK’s climate and environmental goals. The Spending Review’s commitment that the UK’s economic recovery ‘must be green’ sends a positive signal. We welcome the creation of a national infrastructure bank and would urge that the net zero target, the Environment Bill targets and the levelling up agenda are all central to its mandate. To be effective and crowd in private investment at scale, such a bank will also need to be sufficiently well capitalised, with recent analysis commissioned by the Aldersgate Group recommending £20bn paid in capital over 4 years.” [1]

Nick Molho added: “A key task for the Government in the near future will be to introduce new regulations and market mechanisms to drive private low carbon investment in critical areas such as buildings, heavy industry and nature restoration. This will be essential to deliver the Chancellor’s objective of accelerating private investment in infrastructure and putting the UK on a credible pathway for net zero emissions and delivering the goals set out in the 25 Year Environment Plan.” [2]

—ENDS—

[1] On 15 July, the Aldersgate Group published Rebuilding to Last, a report from James Rydge an Dimitri Zenghelis at the Grantham Research Institute at the London School of Economics, looking at the key measures needed to put the UK on path to a sustainable, durable and socially inclusive economic recovery. The report called for the creation of a national investment bank with a paid-up capital of £20bn, with £5bn a year paid for 4 years. The report is accessible here:  https://www.aldersgategroup.org.uk/latest#rebuilding-to-last-uk-must-not-go-back-to-the-old-normal

[2] On 5 October, the Aldersgate Group launched a major report, Building a net zero emissions economy, looking at the key policy measures needed in this parliamentary term to put the UK economic on a credible pathway to net zero emissions: https://www.aldersgategroup.org.uk/latest#businesses-call-for-urgent-policy-decisions-to-put-uk-economy-on-track-for-net-zero-emissions

CIRCLE_2pexels-naveen-annam-1581693

Ten Point Plan: a good starting point for a green recovery but a more systemic approach is needed

17th November 2020

Reacting to the Government’s Ten Point Plan, Nick Molho, Executive Director at the Aldersgate Group, said: "The Prime Minister is absolutely right that aligning the UK’s economic recovery strategy can create a significant number of jobs and bring much needed investment to parts of the UK in urgent need of economic opportunities. The Ten Point Plan commitment to phase out the sale of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030 will send a decisive market signal and we welcome the commitments to extend the Green Homes Grant by a year and the increased ambition around hydrogen and carbon capture."

Nick Molho added: "However, to put the UK economy on a credible pathway for net zero emissions, the Prime Minister must embed the net zero target across all government departments and address the lack of long-term policy commitments that is still holding back progress in some parts of the economy [1]. For example, the Ten Point Plan doesn't address the lack of regulatory drivers in buildings that is currently hampering private investment in energy efficiency and low carbon heat, and it does not recognise the urgent need to set up a well-capitalised national investment bank to grow investment in complex low carbon technologies. For the UK’s domestic policy commitments to be effective, the Government must also not lose sight of the fact that any future trade agreements must be fully supportive and consistent with the net zero target. [2]”

Reacting to the announcement on industrial decarbonisation measures, Nick Molho added: "It’s good to see the Government growing its ambitions for low carbon industrial clusters and hydrogen production. However, with France and Germany each committing €7bn as part of their green hydrogen strategies, much work remains to be done to plug the innovation funding gap and develop the market mechanisms that will support the deployment low carbon industrial technologies at scale."

—ENDS—

[1] On 5 October, the Aldersgate Group launched a major report, Building a net zero emissions economy, looking at the key policy measures needed in this parliamentary term to put the UK economic on a credible pathway to net zero emissions: https://www.aldersgategroup.org.uk/latest#businesses-call-for-urgent-policy-decisions-to-put-uk-economy-on-track-for-net-zero-emissions

[2] The Aldersgate Group recently published a policy briefing setting out the business case for aligning the UK’s trade policy with its climate and environmental goals: https://www.aldersgategroup.org.uk/latest/page:2#uk-trade-policy-must-be-aligned-with-environmental-and-climate-goals

CIRCLE_pexels-pixabay-258117

Focus on nature restoration is welcome but needs to be amplified through Environment Bill

14th November 2020

Reacting to the Government’s announcement on the Green Recovery Challenge Fund and the creation of new Landscape Recovery Projects, Nick Molho, Executive Director at the Aldersgate Group, said: “The Government’s growing focus on nature restoration as part of its economic recovery plan is encouraging and makes good sense from an environmental and economic perspective. Projects such as woodland creation and the restoration of wetlands and peatlands are proven to be very effective at generating jobs [1] as well as having a key role to play in reversing the decline of the natural environment and helping the UK better adapt to the impacts from climate change.”

Nick Molho added: “Going forward, the challenge will be to take a strategic approach to nature restoration to deliver improvements at scale. In addition to the Environmental Land Management Scheme being introduced as part of the Agricultural Bill, this will require the Government to commit to a set of ambitious nature improvement targets and associated policy measures under the Environment Bill. [2]”

—ENDS—

[1] See Rebuilding to Last, the comprehensive economic analysis on COVID-19 recovery commissioned by the Aldersgate Group from the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change at the London School of Economics: https://www.aldersgategroup.org.uk/latest#rebuilding-to-last-uk-must-not-go-back-to-the-old-normal

[2] See the Aldersgate Group’s latest briefing on how ambitious targets under the Environment Bill should be designed: https://www.aldersgategroup.org.uk/asset/1704

water

Greater due diligence in supply chains welcome

11th November 2020

Reacting to the Government’s announcement on requiring greater due diligence from businesses to protect rainforests, Signe Norberg, Public Affairs Manager at the Aldersgate Group, said: “We welcome Lord Goldsmith’s announcement today on tackling illegal deforestation and introducing an amendment to the Environment Bill which will enhance due diligence requirements for UK businesses. Enhancing resilience, traceability and sustainability across business supply chains is essential to protect the world’s rainforests and this announcement is an important legislative step in that direction.”

Signe Norberg added: “Today’s measures can help pave the way for further protections for other vital ecological assets. Given the scale of global demand for commodities coming from rainforests, the UK must now encourage other major economies to introduce similar legal requirements and work with nations hosting vital rainforests to strengthen domestic forest protection laws.”

CIRCLE_2pexels-naveen-annam-1581693

Focus on low carbon and environment crucial for recovery

10th November 2020

Responding to the Labour Party’s green economic recovery consultation report today, Signe Norberg, Public Affairs Manager at the Aldersgate Group, said: “Focusing on low carbon technologies, skills and services will be crucial as the UK recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. This will create new jobs, spread opportunities across the country and support our climate and environmental goals. As we have argued in recent reports [1], these opportunities need to be supported by a programme of near-term public investment, the creation of new institutions, such as a National Investment Bank, a low carbon skills strategy and comprehensive policies which can drive long-term private sector investment. The consultation report highlighted by the Labour Party today illustrates the opportunities that lie ahead and the range of actions that are required to achieve them.”  

—ENDS—

[1] Dimitri Zenghelis and James Rydge (2020) Rebuilding to Last: How to Design an inclusive, resilient and sustainable growth strategy after COVID-19. This report was commissioned by the Aldersgate Group: https://www.aldersgategroup.org.uk/latest#rebuilding-to-last-uk-must-not-go-back-to-the-old-normal

Aldersgate Group (2020) Seize the Moment: https://www.aldersgategroup.org.uk/latest/page:2#low-carbon-projects-are-a-key-solution-to-jobs-inequality-and-resilience-concerns

Aldersgate Group (2020) Building a net zero emissions economy https://www.aldersgategroup.org.uk/latest#businesses-call-for-urgent-policy-decisions-to-put-uk-economy-on-track-for-net-zero-emissions

FORCCC

Mandatory climate risk disclosure key to improving decision making

9th November 2020

Reacting to the Chancellor of the Exchequer's announcement today on the UK's roadmap to mandatory climate-related disclosures, Nick Molho, Executive Director at the Aldersgate Group, said: "The Government’s intention to legislate for companies to disclose their exposure to climate risks in line with the TCFD recommendations [1] is an essential step in improving the quality, comparability and transparency of climate-related disclosures across the economy and one which the Aldersgate Group has long called for [2]. To ensure that this new reporting regime results in better decision making, it will be important that companies be required to report how they are managing the climate risks they have identified."

Nick Molho added: "Government policy can support businesses in adapting to TCFD aligned reporting by providing supportive guidance, setting up a corporate reporting lab to test different reporting approaches, and looking at how existing disclosure requirements can best be integrated within the TCFD reporting framework to avoid duplication of effort."

Nick Molho added: "Today’s announcement of the UK’s first Sovereign Green Bond in 2021 is a welcome step in financing projects which deliver on the UK’s climate and environmental ambitions. There is still further work to do in delivering the Government’s objective of greening the financial system and growing the flows of green finance. Developing green finance standards, setting up a National Investment Bank and reviewing prudential requirements to make it easier to invest in low carbon infrastructure are all essential measures that will help unlock the private finance needed to deliver the UK’s net zero emissions target and other environmental goals." [3]

—ENDS—

[1] The Financial Stability Board set up the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFDs), which published key recommendations to improve and increase the disclosure of climate-related financial information: https://www.fsb-tcfd.org/

[2] In October 2019, the Aldersgate Group published a policy briefing calling for TCFD aligned reporting to be made mandatory and setting out a range of recommendations to implement such a requirement in practice: https://www.aldersgategroup.org.uk/latest/page:2#mandatory-climate-risk-disclosure-essential-to-get-to-net-zero

[3] On 5th October, the Aldersgate Group launched a new report, Building a Net Zero Emissions Economy, which sets out key policy measures which need to be taken in this parliamentary term to put the UK economy on track for net zero emissions. The report is available at: https://www.aldersgategroup.org.uk/latest#businesses-call-for-urgent-policy-decisions-to-put-uk-economy-on-track-for-net-zero-emissions

scr_313782_503140

Parliament must seize opportunity to strengthen the Environment Bill

3rd November 2020

Reacting to the return of the Environment Bill today, Signe Norberg, Public Affairs Manager at the Aldersgate Group, said: “It is great to see the Environment Bill return to Parliament after over 200 days. Progress on the Bill must continue now at pace to ensure that we have a robust environmental governance system after the end of the transition period. While the delay caused by the pandemic has been understandable, Government must now prioritise the Bill in order to provide sufficient time for comprehensive parliamentary scrutiny and minimise the risk of any governance gaps following the end of the transition period.” 

Signe Norberg added: “The Environment Bill has the potential to be a world leading piece of environmental legislation but it needs to be strengthened in a number of areas, including the target setting process, the interim targets and the environmental improvement plans.[1] Further clarity on the creation of the Office for Environmental Protection and related interim arrangements will be crucial. This should include greater transparency on the new amendments giving the Secretary of State power to issue guidance on the watchdog’s enforcement function and moving environmental reviews from the Upper Tribunal to the High Court."

—ENDS—

The Aldersgate Group has produced a paper on the published environmental targets policy paper, which you can find here. It provides some constructive recommendations for the Government and the independent panel of experts to consider when entering the next phase of the target setting process. This builds on the second reading briefing which was produced when the Environment Bill was first introduced. 

landscape

« Previous 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 Last »