UK industry pushes for green growth

For Canadians accustomed to the lack of green enthusiasm of many major corporations and our federal government the idea that a leading industry association is pushing for green growth comes as something of an unusual situation but such is the situation in the UK where the country’s leading manufacturing association has published a report on “Green and Growth: solutions for growing a green economy”.  The legend on the front cover states:

Manufacturers will provide the building blocks for
low‑carbon technology and innovative production.
Government green and growth policies must
complement each other by rebalancing the economy
and delivering the UK’s contribution to tackling global
carbon emissions.

Contained within this recently published report are the following industry proposals to itself and to government:

  1. Establish a 2030 energy decarbonisation target to drive future energy policy: Government should establish a 2030 carbon reduction target for energy supply to set long term ambition and certainty. The target must encompass all forms of low carbon energy on a time frame consistent with R&D and investment horizons. Unless the long-mooted industrial benefits of the renewables target materialise soon, it will become increasingly difficult to justify that cost. So the government needs to subject the costs and benefits of the target to close review.
  2. Focus energy policy on Feed in Tariffs and scrap Carbon Price Floor as soon as fiscally possible: Feed in Tariffs (FITs) provides a more cost-effective mechanism than Carbon Price Floor (CPF) as consumers pay for low-carbon electricity only when it is generated. The government should scrap the CPF as soon as fiscally possible and deliver FITs based on Contracts for Difference (CfD) planned as part of the on-going electricity market reform programme.
  3. Adopt just one UK carbon reduction scheme: By 2015, the government should establish just one UK carbon efficiency scheme aimed at all significant energy users regardless of energy intensity. It should achieve this by scrapping the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme (CRC) and extending Climate Change Agreement (CCA) to all sectors prepared to agree to deals to improve their energy efficiency.
  4. Promote life cycle analysis: The government should address the barriers faced by many SMEs when seeking to collect and share carbon footprint information with suppliers and customers by working with industry to develop a national database for carbon footprint data of commodity products.
  5. Move to Carbon Intensity Targets for certain sectors: The government should support the contribution sectors such as steel can make to reducing global emissions by developing carbon intensity targets for globally traded sectors.
  6. Promote global action through International Sector Approaches: Globally agreed sector targets can be a stepping stone to a full global agreement on reducing carbon emissions. The government has an important role to play in driving forward progress by working in partnership with industry to establish global sector agreements.
  7. Ensure the Green Investment Bank delivers for UK manufacturing: The ambition of the Green Investment Bank (GIB) should be expanded to include support for a wider range of projects including environmental technologies and not just infrastructure. In order to get the most out the GIB’s initial funding of £3bn, government should expand the scope of the fund to help manufacturing invest in further energy efficiency and low-carbon product development.
  8. Seek to become a global leader in Carbon Capture and Storage: It is vital that we capitalise on the UK’s major strengths that could enable it to be a World leader in CCS technology, which has significant global potential. The government should support industrial CCS by opening up its CCS competition and funding to industrial projects.
  9. Supporting Investment: The government must help industry bring forward the investment it wants and needs to make. Key areas for it to address include ensuring that the tax system provides effective and immediate support for investment in capital equipment, improving the costs and availability of finance both from banks and outside the banking sector and ensuring that skills provision and qualification respond rapidly to manufacturers’ changing needs.
  10. Working more closely with public sector suppliers: The government must deliver on its commitment to use public procurement to develop the capacity of domestic suppliers by giving them greater visibility of future order flows and working more closely with them ahead of placing major orders.

While GallonDaily can criticize the details of some of these proposals the overall approach is so compelling compared to anything yet seen from large Canadian industry groups that detailed nitpicking is rendered almost irrelevant.

More detailed analysis of these UK industry association proposals can be found in the report available at http://www.eef.org.uk/manufacturingagenda/green-and-growth.aspx

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