Economic crisis no excuse for climate inaction - CBI

Gloomy economic forecasts do not give businesses or government an excuse to rein in efforts to tackle climate change, according to the Confederation of British Industry.

Speaking at the CBI's Climate Change Summit this week, the organisation's director general, Richard Lambert, said Government needed to show a strong lead if the UK was to meet its ambitious target of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050.

"We must not let the global economic crisis become an excuse for inaction on climate change," he told delegates.

"Now more than ever, we need to secure a binding EU climate change deal, or the opportunity to make the transition to a low-carbon economy will slip through our fingers.

"The Government's commitment to reducing emissions by 80 per cent by 2050 is very ambitious and it has made a promising start with the creation of the new Department for Energy and Climate Change and the Planning Act. But we now need the Government to transform its ambition into action.

"If the Government can deliver the right framework for investment then UK businesses can take the initiative by developing and exploiting new green technologies to improve efficiency and cut costs.

"The sooner that happens, the closer we will be to creating significant numbers of green collar jobs, building future prosperity for the UK and meeting our climate change targets."

The CBI also said business should be seeing going green as an opportunity rather than a burden

"Being green, especially in these times, is not a luxury," said Ben Verwaayen, chairman of the CBI's climate change board.

"It is a critical issue and an important opportunity for business and for creative thinking.

"Where the great depression was solved by building roads and bridges, what this economic crisis needs is green innovation in both energy and applications."

Sam Bond



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