Climate Change Minister Greg Barker last night called for a long term industrial strategy fit for the 21st century. Speaking at the All Party Parliamentary Group for Energy Intensive Industries, the Minister, provided a tantalising glimpse of the governments proposed energy intensive package, expected to be announced in late November. Barker began by stating that the government cannot have a monofocus on carbon targets and that the government recognises the importance of a strong manufacturing sector and the need for an effective transition to a low carbon economy. The government recognise that its not hard to meet UK carbon targets by offshoring our industries, the real challenge is to meet the targets while supporting growth in the sector.
It is clear that Greg Barker and his department have a good understanding of the impact of the UK's unilateral climate policies on the competitiveness of UK manufactures. They are also committed to working with industry to overcome these barriers. However the minister gave the caveat that the approach will be cumulative, phased and delivered as and when the government can afford it.
The key concern is whether cabinet ministers agree with Greg Barker, the proof will be in the Chancellors announcement on 29th November.