The UK should adopt an industrial strategy that plays to its strengths in key sectors including green technology, aerospace and automotives, says the CBI.
In a report out today, Playing our strongest hand: Maximising the UK’s industrial opportunities, the CBI says that a “joined up” approach to industrial strategy is needed to make the most of new opportunities in these sectors and help lift the country out of recession.
Focusing on key areas could deliver £30 billion worth of export opportunities by 2020, says the report, but the government will need to create a “world class” environment for business to operate in.
The UK, for example, has secured a £122 billion share of the global green technology and services, says the CBI, and is delivering a trade surplus of £5 billion. With the country’s market share growing at a rate of over 2%, the UK is well positioned to capitalise on a global market worth £3.3 trillion.
“The debate has moved on from whether the UK should have an industrial strategy, to what the right approach should be. It’s not about picking winners and it’s not about the Government spending more money – rather, it’s about tilting the playing field for those sectors where we have real advantages,” says the CBI’s chief policy director Katja Hall.
It won’t be enough to just champion key sectors, says the CBI, each will need particular actions to stimulate growth, including changing the regulatory environment, investing in infrastructure or supporting the development of new technologies.
In the green sector, this will mean the UK sticking to its fourth carbon budget, setting emission reduction targets to 2030 and moving ahead with its low-carbon transition plans.
Enacting the Energy Bill is a matter of urgency, says the CBI, along with incentives for homeowners to undertake energy efficiency retrofits and replacing the government’s controversial Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) for businesses with a simple energy tax and mandatory carbon reporting.
“What is crystal clear is that we have no time to waste. Countries like China, Singapore, South Korea, Germany and even the USA, are already backing sectors where they have strengths, boosting their industrial bases. If we choose to stand still, we will simply fall behind,” cautions Hall.
For further information:
Renewable, nuclear and CCS industries unite to call for UK decarbonisation target (5-Nov)
British public want more wind farms, according to poll (23-Oct)
UK Energy Secretary promises Energy Bill “within weeks” (18-Oct)
UK Chancellor backs renewables but gives shale gas a tax break (9-Oct)
Article source: http://www.energyefficiencynews.com/i/5525/