UK’s Clean Growth Strategy: Industry responds

The UK Government has set out its Clean Growth Strategy to boost national income and output whilst simultaneously cutting greenhouse gas emissions. The plan aims to ensure an affordable energy […]

Register now!

By Jonny Bairstow

The UK Government has set out its Clean Growth Strategy to boost national income and output whilst simultaneously cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

The plan aims to ensure an affordable energy supply for businesses and consumers, increase productivity, create jobs and help protect the climate and environment.

It highlights the importance of collaborating with industry to achieve these goals – but what do they have to say about the announcement?

‘An important milestone’

Nick Molho, Executive Director of the Aldersgate Group, said the clear commitment to deliver on the UK’s climate targets will be welcomed by businesses.

He added: “By restating key commitments such as the £557 million for new offshore wind projects, providing new funding for electric vehicle charging infrastructure and innovative low carbon heat projects and setting out important consultations on energy efficiency, the Clean Growth Strategy is an important milestone that will improve business confidence and the credibility of the UK’s climate targets.”

‘A move in the right direction’

Shaun Spiers, Executive Director of Green Alliance, believes going green is crucial for the future of the UK economy and was happy to finally see decisive action.

He said: “It is great to see this long awaited strategy setting out the government’s ambitions for clean growth. It is certainly a welcome move in the right direction. The test now will be to embed the strategy across government and encourage investment in clean growth by giving businesses the certainty they need.”

‘Strategy must translate into action’

Neil Carberry, CBI Managing Director for People and Infrastructure, said working towards decarbonisation by 2030 offers huge opportunities for the UK economy and is a vital part of an effective industrial strategy.

He added: “But there remains significant heavy lifting in other parts of the economy, such as heat, transport and improving the efficiency of our homes and industry and concerted efforts will be needed to ensure we can meet our ambitions.

‘Real proof will be in the delivery’

Energy Institute CEO, Louise Kingham, said: “The strategy is really important for the UK’s standing on the global climate change stage, as we look to the next round of UN talks hosted by Fiji in Bonn next month.

“But meeting the UK’s carbon targets is ultimately a numbers game and the real proof will be in the delivery.”

‘Must be properly funded’

Lawrence Slade, Chief Executive of Energy UK, commented: “It is positive to see the ambitious targets to improve the energy efficiency in our homes and businesses.

“How this will be funded is critical and we will work with government to shape a national energy efficiency programme that will help reduce energy bills and ensure we meet the targets set out today.”

‘Far more actual policy needed’

However, Friends of the Earth Senior Climate Campaigner, Simon Bullock, suggested despite rightly presenting tackling climate change as a massive opportunity for economic rebirth, the Clean Growth Strategy has some “huge gaps”.

He said: “Clearly there is far more actual policy needed – the plan does not deliver on UK targets for cutting emissions, let alone the more ambitious Paris climate agreement and some parts of government are still firmly stuck in a rut of more fossil fuels, roads and runways.”

‘Still too much uncertainty’

Antony Skinner ,Partner at law firm Ashurst, added there was still a lot of uncertainty, particularly surrounding renewable energy.

He added: “Much of the detail about the government’s renewable energy policy appears to rest on the outcome of the cost of energy review currently taking place.

“It’s also disappointing but not surprising, that the next Contracts for Difference allocation round will not take place until 2019.”