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UK Could Become a Leader in Low-Carbon Products and Add £20 billion to GDP

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) is an organisation which analyses intelligence reports and statistical data in order to advise governments and try and promote the interest of its 200,000 member companies.

Following new research CBI has advised the UK government that it is currently in the position to become a global leader in low-carbon products and services, a role which could add £20 billion to the annual GDP by 2015.

John Cridland, the Director-General of CBI, has remarked that the current belief that there is a “so-called ‘choice’ between going green or going for growth is a false one. We are increasingly hearing that politicians are for one or the other, when in reality, with the right policies in place, green business will be a major pillar of our future growth.”

“With something like a third of all our growth accounted for by green business last year, the UK could be a global front-runner in the shift to low-carbon. In the search for growth, we’re digging for goldmines – and one of them is green.”

“Get our energy and climate change policies right, and we can add £20bn extra to our economy and knock £0.8bn off the trade gap, all within the lifetime of this Parliament.”

However CBI has been clear that the UK government must take the right action now in order to achieve the full potential of the sector.

A video of John Cridland explaining CBI’s vision for decarbonising the UK economy can be found here.

The 10 recommendations made by CBI to the UK government have been neatly summarised by Cleantechnica:

1.    The UK must maintain its ambition: Ensure that the ambition of the 4th Carbon Budget is maintained, if underpinned by a smart policy framework which follows the recommendations of this report, and matched with consistent messaging from all parts of government
2.    Play a strong role in Europe and internationally: Be at the forefront of shaping the future of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme and global climate negotiations
3.    Establish clear and stable market frameworks: Ensure that market signals – particularly within the reformed electricity market – have stability and longevity, with any adjustments made in a pre-defined way
4.    Stimulate new consumer markets: Work collaboratively with business to ensure the right mix of incentives and regulation, together with clear and consistent information, are in place to drive demand in emerging markets such as the Green Deal
5.    Cut “green tape”: Reduce complexity in the existing low-carbon policy landscape, including immediate action on the Carbon Reduction Commitment, and take a more strategic approach when developing future policies
6.    Reflect the value of all sectors in the economy: Develop a long-term strategy for Energy-Intensive Industries, including the further rollout of realistic sector-specific decarbonisation roadmaps, which will enable them to play their part in the low-carbon transition
7.    Build upon the UK’s strengths: Play a more proactive role in aligning policy and investment with existing UK strengths, and promoting these abroad
8.    Capture greater value from green investments: Identify strategic opportunities to develop domestic capabilities through targeted interventions and longer-term technology road-mapping
9.    Facilitate the flow of finance: The Green Investment Bank should have the power to raise funds from the capital markets as soon as is fiscally possible. Priority projects should also be eligible for direct government intervention in the short-term
10.    Develop our “intellectual infrastructure”: Continue to support the UK’s strong innovation ecosystem, and address strategic skills shortages

By. Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com


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