CBI says UK can be global leader in low carbon products and services if Government makes right choices
Fri 06 July 2012 | Back to news list
The CBI Director-General, John Cridland, has called on the Government to adopt a smarter, more consistent approach to energy and climate change policy saying: “The so-called “choice” between going green or going for growth is a false one...with the right policies in place, green business will be a major pillar of our future growth."
John Cridland was speaking at the launch of a new CBI report: "The Colour of Growth: Maximising the Potential of Green Business".
The report from the UK's leading business organisation shows that the UK has the ability to become a global front-runner in low carbon products and services, which could be adding £20 billion extra in annual GDP by 2015. But the CBI warns that the Government needs to take the right action to grasp this potential and avoid damaging the competitiveness of key industries.
It says that business wants to keep up the pace but has concerns over the Government’s current approach to the low-carbon transition, which it believes to be missing the mark. As a result, there is a risk not just of missed opportunities, but of undermining existing economic activity. With so much at stake, a smarter and more strategic approach is needed, it says.
John Cridland, CBI Director-General, said: “The 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.”
The UK grew its share of the £3.3 trillion global green market by 2.3% in real terms in 2010/11, reaching £122 billion and accounting for around 8% of GDP, and the CBI analysis suggests that green business may have accounted for over a third of all UK growth in 2011/12.
Investing in a balanced mix of low-carbon energy sources should also help to ensure the UK’s long-term energy security and affordability by reducing exposure to global energy price rises and fluctuations.
The CBI wants the Government to build green business into any future industrial strategy. It is calling for a new approach and attitude from government which is more strategic about identifying UK strengths and maximising value from low-carbon supply chains in order to ensure sustainable growth over the longer-term.
The CBI makes 10 recommendations to Government on green business. For more details view the linked press release or download the full report.
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