Tackling climate change is a massive challenge for all countries and, within the UK, all sectors of the economy. The government has the difficult challenge of both bringing the manufacturing economy out of recession and also delivering on our climate change goals, in terms of meeting both the 2020 in 2050 targets that we have all signed up to.
Today EEF is launching a report which aims to address this unique challenge. "Green and Growth Solutions for Growing a Green Economy", puts forward solutions that will deliver both green and growth ambitions. The manufacturing sector has, in terms of cutting emissions, done everything that the government has asked them to do. Manufacturers can do more, but this will not be achieved by artificially increasing our costs and putting us at a disadvantage against competitors both within Europe and beyond. What they need to deliver long-term and global action is certainty and cost effectiveness.
When I talk about certainty, I’m not talking about the certainty of complex, costly and overlapping policy. I am, of course, talking about the need for certainty of investment in the UK. Investment both to rebalance the economy, and investment to deliver the solutions that manufacturers’ can deliver to tackle global climate change.
If we can, more efficiently, make something here in the UK, then climate change policy should not discourage this. If the carrot and stick policy approach works best, then we should capitalise upon that, and if global companies are looking for a favourable place to invest in low carbon manufacturing, then that place should be the UK.
We have a long way to go. One of the key challenges facing the UK, is the need to decarbonise of our electricity supply. We need longer-term certainty here of how to meet this goal in a cost-effective and achievable way. Policies to decarbonise the energy supply should focus the outcome, not the route. We must have a policy that enables the market, to invest in the most cost efficient and innovative solutions.
This report is not about green, it is not about growth, it is about green growth. We need both to work together, otherwise we are doomed to fail.
for more infomation on EEF's Green and Growth campaign please visit http://www.eef.org.uk/manufacturingagenda/green-and-growth.aspx