UK businesses calls for 2030 carbon target to unleash investment

Posted at October 9, 2012 » By : » Categories : News » Comments Off on UK businesses calls for 2030 carbon target to unleash investment

A group of the UK’s largest businesses and industry bodies have written an open letter to the Chancellor George Osborne calling for a 2030 carbon target for the power sector.

Only such clarity on the future for the industry can unleash the £110 billion investment needed to transform the UK’s electricity infrastructure, says the statement from over 50 businesses including ASDA, Aviva, BT, EDF, Marks Spencer, Microsoft, PepsiCo, Philips, Reed Elsevier and The Co-Operative.

The signatories warn that indications that unabated gas post-2030 will be deemed necessary and acceptable is damaging confidence in the low-carbon sector and undermining potentially major investments.

The letter states that its signatories “support the recommendation by the Energy and Climate Change Committee that Government should set a 2030 carbon intensity target for the power sector” in the government’s forthcoming Energy Bill.

The letter points to a recent CBI report that warns that ongoing policy uncertainty could lose the UK nearly £400 million in net exports in 2014/15 alone.

Conversely, a “coherent and strategic” approach to decarbonisation across the economy could met the UK economy close to an extra £20 billion, says the CBI report.

“The message of this letter is loud and clear: we must put an end to any political uncertainty surrounding the UK’s energy future and start unleashing the billions of pounds of overdue investment,” says Peter Young, chair of the Aldersgate Group, which co-ordinated the letter.

And in a pointed statement on the day of the Chancellor’s address to the Conservative Party annual conference, Young adds that both Labour and the Liberal Democrats – which have both backed a 2030 carbon target – understand the potential growth opportunity.

“Now the Conservative Party must step up to the mark and provide the full cross-party support which businesses have been calling for,” he says.

Craig Bennett, head of policy and campaigns at Friends of the Earth adds:
“Osborne [is] totally isolated in his damaging dash for gas. The Chancellor must stop obstructing green investment.”

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Related stories:
Lib Dems and Labour back binding decarbonisation target (26-Sept)
Climate Change Committee condemns UK government’s ‘dash for gas’ (14-Sept)
UK Energy Secretary defends Energy Bill against “myths” (12-Sept)
UK Energy Bill will deter investment and add costs, warns committee (23-Jul)

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