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UK government’s “green roadmap”: pale green but better than nothing.

Filed under: Latest News

Industry welcomes the green roadmap with reservations.

The Environmental Industries Commission (EIC) has welcomed the publication of the Government’s new green economy roadmap – “Enabling the Transition to a Green Economy” – but is concerned that there is a lack of policy detail to create a platform for investor confidence.

Commenting on the roadmap’s publication EIC’s Executive Chair, Adrian Wilkes, said:

“The Environmental Industries Commission welcomes the publication of the Government’s green economy roadmap. It is a useful document in setting a general framework, and timetable, for the transition of the UK’s economy to a resource-efficient, low carbon basis –  such a vision should encourage British businesses to plan ahead to exploit the commercial opportunities.

“As the worldwide stock market crisis highlights, investor confidence is crucial. But in order to boost investment and the UK’s international competitiveness, the lack of policy detail within the document is a key concern as it may not produce the levels of investor confidence intended.

“The range of environmental challenges we face are a product of the greatest and widest-ranging market failure ever seen. The only way to correct this failure is to adopt policies that ensure environmental damage is translated into immediate price signals. This will require active Government intervention in the economy by providing a strong policy framework that boosts low carbon and sustainable growth.

“Yet, the roadmap only makes a fleeting reference to flagship policies like the Green Deal, let alone the Waste Strategy and the Water White Paper. And the vital need for long-term policy certainty is undermined by the recent chopping and changing to the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme and feed-in tariffs for example. Put this in the context of the current Red Tape Challenge and the Government’s wider de-regulatory agenda, and the problem is exacerbated.

“This new roadmap is a good starting point – but now we need to see the implementation of a wide range of environmental protection policies that are long-term and stable – to provide confidence to investors.”

Solar Twin Ltd are members of the EIC.

‘Enabling the Transition to a Green Economy’ – Summary

The key points raised by the roadmap are:

  • The global low-carbon market was worth more than £3.2 trillion in 2009/10 and is projected to reach £4 trillion by 2015.
  • The UK share of that market is more than £116 billion in 2009/10, but has the potential to be much larger.
  • The Government is using a range of policy tools to support the transition to a Green Economy, including: promotion of international action; regulation; financial incentives; voluntary agreements; fiscal measures; public sector procurement; and provision of information.
  • The roadmap acknowledges the long-held EIC position that, to invest in new systems processes and tools, businesses require certainty on Government action.
  • To help achieve this aim the roadmap includes a visual timeline for the key policies related to the green economy, and their direction of travel over the next decade.
  • The roadmap reiterates that the Government’s progress on many of these actions can be tracked through the previously published ‘Carbon Plan’, which brings together policies from across government on climate change. Further information on the Carbon Plan can be found here.
  • The EU can/will play an important role in driving global ambition on the green economy and ensuring a level playing field.
  • A developing EU market for green goods and services will open up bigger markets for UK businesses.
  • To sustain and safeguard future growth, the Government will need to reform its water, waste and flood management systems to ensure that infrastructure is resilient to the impacts of climate change.
  • Regulation will remain an important tool to encourage businesses to develop greener products and services.
  • The Government will work to ensure that the system of environmental regulation is proportionate, clear, and implemented in a way that minimises burdens on business.
  • The Government believes there is scope for voluntary action on the green economy, with businesses and Government working together as part of the Big Society.
  • The Government’s general policy will be to explore voluntary agreements and other less burdensome alternatives to regulation ‘wherever practical’.
  • The Government will increase the proportion of tax revenue accounted for by environmental taxes.
  • The Government will buy more sustainable and efficient products within the context of the overarching priorities of value for money and streamlining procurement processes. · The Government will continue to make information available to businesses, and will make that information easier for businesses to use, and to advise businesses on how best to use it.
  • The roadmap finishes with a series of commitments to support the move to a green economy.

I hope this is interesting. Regards from Barry at Solartwin.


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