Businesses demand 2030 carbon target from Chancellor

A group of large UK businesses has written to the Chancellor warning him that a 2030 carbon target for the power sector is essential for stimulating new growth in the […]

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By Vicky Ellis

A group of large UK businesses has written to the Chancellor warning him that a 2030 carbon target for the power sector is essential for stimulating new growth in the economy.

More than 50 firms including M&S, Asda, MITIE, Aviva, Sky and EDF state their concern about missing “huge commercial opportunities” if this target isn’t set.

The firms write: “The UK’s economic growth, competitive advantage and the health of our job market will increasingly be determined by our response to climate change, energy security and commodity price volatility.

“Failure to act at sufficient scale and pace will undermine our prosperity and cause us to miss out on the huge commercial opportunities associated with the global shift to a low carbon, resource efficient economy.”

The warning came as George Osborne gave a speech to the Tory party conference about how “enterprise” was key to Britain’s economic strategy – including building a shale gas sector.

The businesses go on to suggest the Government’s commitment to the low carbon sector is being “undermined” by recent statements calling for unabated gas in the power sector beyond 2030.

Organised by the environmental business group Aldersgate, the letter supports the call from the Energy and Climate Change Committee for Government to set a 2030 carbon intensity target for the power sector in secondary legislation, with a reference to this in the next draft of the Energy Bill.

Peter Young, Chairman of the Aldersgate Group said: “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 which will deliver new growth for our economy.

“Both the Labour and Liberal Democrat Parties understand this huge growth opportunity and backed a 2030 carbon target for the power sector at their party conferences. Now the Conservative Party must step up to the mark and provide the full cross-party support which businesses have been calling for.”