UK and India in low carbon business alliance

A coalition of top business leaders from the UK and India led by Sir Stuart Rose and Rajan Bharti Mittal have today urged closer trade ties on low carbon technologies. […]

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By Kelvin Ross

A coalition of top business leaders from the UK and India led by Sir Stuart Rose and Rajan Bharti Mittal have today urged closer trade ties on low carbon technologies.

And the call has been endorsed by David Cameron and Energy Minister Greg Barker.

A report from the UK-India Business Leaders Climate Group, which was set up this year and is chaired by M&S chairman Sir Stuart Rose and Mr Mittal, sets out a ‘charter of principles’ on how to achieve a low carbon economy.

Recommendations that will be implemented immediately by the group include an online Clean Technology Development Directory for UK investors of early-stage Indian projects across several sectors; a low carbon capital manual, providing technical information on the financial tools for raising funds for clean-tech projects in India; and a high-level Low Carbon Economy Summit to be held in India next year that will bring together the private equity/venture capital community in the UK with India’s technology innovators.

The charter of principles is aimed at boosting UK-India investment and trade in both directions, driving innovation and reducing the cost of cutting emissions.

Its key recommendations include the development of joint demonstration projects to raise awareness of opportunities for low carbon economic growth and to provide impetus for investment; the creation of innovative financing instruments and the removal of barriers to capital flows to stimulate investment in the low carbon economy; and improved exchange and dissemination of information to support low carbon business decisions and collaboration.

In a message to the Business Leaders Climate Group today, Prime Minister David Cameron said: “Some of the most powerful solutions to the climate change challenge will come from business. This report sets out a clear roadmap towards further collaboration between business leaders in our two countries. It’s an exciting agenda that can deliver jobs, growth and environmental protection.”

Sir Stuart Rose stressed that it was “absolutely vital that India and the UK work together to create sustainable low carbon economies”.

And Energy Minister Greg Barker said: “Business leaders, not politicians, are the best advocates for the huge opportunities of an ambitious transition to a low carbon economy. This initiative represents a new mindset of governments and business working together to shape a low carbon future.He added: “As we head towards the climate negotiations in Cancun, it’s crucial that Governments push business friendly climate policies and recognise the key role that entrepreneurs and private sector investment has to play.”

The UK-India Business Leaders Climate Group was established this year to produce recommendations to the governments of India and the UK on the creation of prosperous low carbon economies and green jobs. It has 16 members on its committee – eight from each country – and includes representatives of Great Eastern Energy, HSBC, National Grid, Rolls Royce, News Corp and the Nuclear Industry Association.

Bilateral trade between India and the UK was £11.5bn last year, when UK exports to India accounted for £ 4.7bn and imports from India were £6.8 bn. The global market for low carbon and environmental goods and services is expected to be worth more than £4.3 trillion by 2015.