CEOs of major businesses including EDF Energy, Lloyds, Kingfisher, Unilever, Shell and Tesco have written an open letter to UK Chancellor George Osborne urging him to stay “firmly on the path” to a low-carbon economy.
Ahead of the Coalition Government’s Budget later this month, 11 members of the Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders on Climate Change make the case that action on climate change is “both a necessity and [an] economic opportunity”.
The signatories say they both welcome and support the main elements of UK climate policy like the Climate Change Act and the EU Emissions Trading System.
But while the letter calls on the Chancellor to support government frameworks that give certainty to low-carbon investment, it says the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) efficiency scheme is over complex and burdensome.
The CRC, which requires public and private sector organisations that use over a certain amount of energy to monitor and report their usage and purchase allowances to cover their emissions, has come in for increasing criticism, particularly when it became a revenue-generating mechanism for the Treasury.
The letter also calls on the Chancellor to commit government funding to a carbon capture and storage demonstration project, which has languished since the last remaining contender in its £1 billion competition withdrew.
The signatories also add their weight to calls for the forthcoming Green Investment Bank (GIB) to have borrowing powers from the get go.
“We are committed to publicly supporting effective action on climate change, and will work to help ensure that the UK is able to continue to move forward on this agenda,” concludes the letter. “We look to you and your government to keep your promises in this area and capitalise on the real opportunities offered for green growth and sustainable development.”
For further information:
CBI calls on UK Chancellor to reform green taxes (22-Feb)
UK government chided over stance on ‘green’ taxes (6-Feb)
UK Chancellor’s autumn statement shows no sign of green shoots (30-Nov 2011)
Changes to CRC have scaled back UK businesses’ efficiency plans (18-Jul 2011)
14 March 2012