0 UK businesses including Willmott Dixon, Cisco, E.on, John Lewis Partnership, SSE, and BT have called on the new government to take decisive action to combat climate change and build a low-carbon economy.
An open letter from the firms to Prime Minister David Cameron and published in today’s Financial Times calls on the new administration to:
- Seek a strong global climate deal in Paris in December which limits temperature rises to below 2°C.
- Set an ambitious 5th carbon budget to drive forward UK emissions reductions (covering period 2028-32).
- Establish a long-term framework for investment in the low-carbon economy, giving industry much-needed clarity over what is expected in terms of low-carbon development, and boost the confidence of green investors.
Other signatories include Dong Energy, Johnson & Starley, Trillion Fund, Infinergy, Tesco, ARUP and Instagroup.
WWF-UK is leading calls for a new approach to governance that places low-carbon growth and the responsible management of natural capital at the heart of economic policy.
WWF-UK Chief Executive David Nussbaum said:
“British business is ready to step up. From construction and energy to retail, the best British enterprises know that green growth is the future. They take on board that it’s no longer credible to base a sustainable economy on fossil fuels, so the Government should put us on track for a low-carbon world.
“As we approach international climate talks, Britain should be a global champion for change, but a lack of consistent long-term policies sends a confusing message to business and undermines our attractiveness to investors. The Prime Minister should send a clear message that the only way forward is a green economy, and support forward-looking firms that want to build a clean economy.”
Julia Groves, chief executive of Trillion Fund, a renewable energy crowdfunding platform, said:
“Protecting the pound in people’s pockets is not at odds with supporting low carbon energy generation. Peer-to-peer lending and the maturity of energy generation technologies have come together to create an exciting opportunity for ordinary people looking for a decent return and potentially, to offer cheaper bills for locals too. Regular lenders and investors can sit alongside the Green Investment Bank, pension funds, private equity and banks as direct stakeholders in a clean future, and with the right support, this model can drive competition in energy and in finance, for people, planet and profit.”
Failure to reduce emissions could burden businesses with shortages of water and raw materials as the planet heats up. And the costs of dealing with extreme weather and global instability could run into the hundreds of billions. But clearer long-term incentives for investment in renewable and efficient technologies and practices would pay dividends in terms of new jobs and international trade, while reducing the impact of climate change.
Alistair Phillips Davies, Chief Executive of SSE said:
“As one of the UK’s largest investors in low carbon energy, SSE has long argued for a strong international carbon framework that can provide the right signals for efficient investment.”
Robert Lambe, Managing Director, Willmott Dixon said:
“The UK has the coldest, draughtiest homes in Europe, responsible for over a quarter of the UK’s total carbon emissions. To tackle this we must have a policy framework that is sufficiently long term and ambitious to provide industry the confidence to invest. But it’s not just about carbon. As well as helping to meet our emissions targets, this would benefit our economy by yielding £1.27 in tax revenue per £1 of investment, creating new jobs and benefiting the health, wealth and wellbeing of local communities”.
InstaGroup, one of the UK’s leading Green Deal providers, is urging Mr Cameron to crack down on local authorities failing in their duties to monitor carbon emissions.
Managing Director David Robson, a specialist in heating and insulation, says there are councils doing an excellent job but many more are failing in their legal duty.
‘It’s a real shame many local authorities don’t have a clue about the true carbon footprint in their areas. Though they’re required by law to measure and publish details, the Act is not being properly enforced. How can we move forward toward a better, cleaner Britain, if we are not properly monitoring our CO2 emissions?’.
Ziko Abram, Co Founder Kiwi Power said:
“KiWi Power strongly advocate ambitious reform to climate change and carbon reduction policy. Our business was founded to create innovative demand response technologies to facilitate the ability for businesses and individuals to reduce carbon emissions from inefficient power stations. Our technologies promote the integration of greener renewables into the grid whilst generating significant commercial revenues for participants. It is precisely these types of simple and innovative solutions that should be at the forefront of government reform.”
Peter Hindle MBE, General Delegate of Saint-Gobain UK, Ireland & South Africa, said:
“Saint-Gobain would like to see the Government prioritising energy efficiency in the coming years, establishing a long-term framework for investment in the low-carbon economy.
“As the leaders in the sustainable habitat and construction markets, we believe that clearer long-term incentives for investment in renewable and efficient technologies would pay dividends, in terms of new jobs and international trade, while reducing the impact of climate change.”