MP for Linlithgow and East Falkirk, Michael Connarty recently spoke at Labour Fringe Event and asked whether the Green Economy was costing the UK jobs. He stated that the increased costs of production caused by the many climate change policies imposed on businesses was causing production to move elsewhere (where there are cheaper costs and less environmental regulation).
One would ask whether this is a real and tangible disadvantage; with UK climate change and environment taxes, after rebate/relief for the most energy intensive sectors, being a whopping 400% higher than those same sectors in Germany. That is just the difference within the EU, let alone the rest of the world, not subjected to climate change costs.
“Manufacturing is at the heart of the economic recovery” stated Connarty.
This is true and should not be forgotten. Manufacturers are the solution to climate change, by providing the technologies and equipment for a low carbon future. Manufacturers are already taking steps to reduce their environmental impact and many are trialling innovative ways to do this. But the fact remains that if they must produce in an environment that makes them uncompetitive, it make it much more difficult to attract investment here in the UK, where organisations have the means to invest elsewhere.
What we need is an environment where this is recognised and manufacturing is supported to innovate and invest in new technologies to reduce their environmental impact – something Connarty called on the Coalition to recognise. In order to lead on the world stage, manufacturers need to invest in a low carbon future.