Major Companies Call on UK Government to Support Low Carbon Economy
In a joint statement released on December 10, over 100 businesses, investors, faith groups and NGOs, including WWF, urged the government to ensure business stability by sticking to plans to reduce the UK’s carbon emissions.
The broad alliance, made up of major businesses such as Unilever, Kingfisher, O2, Cisco and Aviva called on decision-makers to follow the advice of the Committee on Climate Change, also released on December 10, and uphold the ambition of the government’s Fourth Carbon Budget.
“The majority of the business world is clear that ambitious and stable action to tackle climate change makes business sense,” said Lord Adair Turner, former Chairman of the Financial Services Authority and the Committee on Climate Change and former Director General of the CBI.
“The time has come to give to the decarbonisation agenda the importance and stability it deserves,” he added.
The Fourth Carbon budget – part of the UK’s world-leading Climate Change Act – sets out by how much the UK economy must reduce its carbon emissions during the 2020s. Sticking to these targets is not only critical in ensuring a stable future for our climate. It’s also essential to give businesses the certainty they need to commit significant investments to the UK’s promising low-carbon economy and to maintain energy security.
“We’re a manufacturing company. We need policy stability in order to make long term investments, as do our customers & supply chain. ‘Stop-Go’ politics threatens that investment and raises costs for everyone. That is why changing the 4th Carbon Budget now would be a strategic mistake – with consequences. And let’s not forget the great opportunity here: hundreds of thousands of jobs all over the country in new growth areas where the UK can take a significant market share,” said Terence Watson, UK President, Alstom.
“Adopting the 4th Carbon Budget is an important step to achieving the 2030 emissions target. Setting long-term targets as part of the energy policy planning is a key enabler for our business and it’s important for us to have long-term visibility of the direction the energy system will take; decarbonisation of the energy sector is key to not only delivering on our obligations but to providing a secure, long-term supply of energy to keep the lights on,” said Brent Cheshire, DONG Energy UK Chairman.
Press release, December 12, 2013; Image: DONG Energy