The UK could be a green business powerhouse in the next three decades, but only if given proper support by government, a group representing more than 30 low-carbon companies has said. The low-carbon economy in the UK employs at least 432,000 people, with a turnover of more than £77bn in 2015. This is larger than industries such as car-making and steelmaking, which are frequently given the spotlight when politicians discuss industry and jobs. Growth in green business is also expected to outstrip other sectors of the economy, as international opportunities open up for low-carbon goods and services. Investments by major developing countries alone are projected to be $23tn by the end of the next decade, with green business’s supporters arguing that the UK is well placed to take a share of the burgeoning market. In a letter to the Guardian, a group representing more than 30 of the UK’s green and low-carbon companies forecast that the low-carbon economy would rocket from 2% of the UK’s GDP today to 13% in the next three decades, boosting both manufacturing and services, but only with government support. The business leaders urged politicians across the spectrum to respond, as the policies of the next government will play a major role in determining how the sector develops and whether job opportunities are realised. They wrote: “Stable policies to grow the UK’s low-carbon market will be essential to turn this potential into reality and ensure our economy remains competitive on the global stage.” Green businesses have been disappointed by the apparent la ck of interest in the sector during the general election campaign, and by the absence of strong public commitments in the manifestos.
Guardian 4th June 2017 read more »
Letter: Nick Molho Executive director, Aldersgate Group, Chris Newsome Director of asset management, Anglian Water, Steve Waygood Chief responsible investment officer, Aviva Investors, Nigel Stansfield President, In terface Europe, Middle East and Africa, Pierre Woreczek Chief customer officer, Kingfisher, Jens Tommerup CEO, MHI Vestas Offshore Wind, Matthew Knight Director of energy strategy and government affairs, Siemens UK, Alistair Phillips-Davies Chief executive, SSE, Julia Barrett Director, Willmott Dixon Re-Thinking, David Symons UK Director of Sustainability, WSP, Piers Guy UK country manager, Vattenfall, Paul Greensmith UK country leader, XL Catlin. Despite the US withdrawal from the Paris agreement on climate change (Anger at US as Trump rejects climate accord, 2 June), the global market for low-carbon goods and services is rapidly growing and the UK must make the most of this opportunity. Spurred in particular by major investments in low-carbon technologies by countries such as China, India, Mexico and South Africa, the Paris agreement could open up $23tn (£18tn) worth of opportunities for low-carbon investments in emerging markets between 2016 and 2030. The commitments made by six world leaders at the recent G7 summit and the decision by China and the EU to collaborate more closely on climate change support this trend. The UK is well placed to benefit. Its low-carbon sector employed 432,000 people and produced a turnover in excess of £77bn in 2015. The UK’s strengths include manufacturing ultra-low e mission vehicles and offshore wind turbines, piloting innovative ideas in energy, water and resource efficiency and providing financial and legal services for clean energy projects worldwide. The focus on developing low-cost, low-carbon infrastructure is gaining momentum across all key economic sectors.
Guardian 4th June 2017 read more »
The government’s record on solar broke into the national election campaign last night when Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn condemned cuts to feed-in tariffs which he said “destroyed and damaged” the industry. During answers to the penultimate question of the 90 minute debate aired on the BBC, a number of the party leaders present turned on home secretary and former energy secretary Amber Rudd to criticise the Conservatives’ approach to climate change. “When we did have a growing and thriving solar power industry in this country what did they do? Cut the feed-in tariffs which destroyed and damaged a lot of that industry. We need a different approach,” Corbyn stated.
Solar Power Portal 1st June 2017 read more »