Economic growth ‘no choice’ but to be green – CBI
CBI director general John Cridland has said that the choice between going green and economic growth is a "false" one.
Cridland was speaking this morning (July 5) in London at the launch of a CBI report into the future of the UK green economy.
The study found that the green economy could be adding as much as £20bn extra in annual GDP by 2015, and knock £0.8bn off the trade gap, as long as the Government took action to nurture these industries.
Despite trying economic times, the report found that the UK’s green business has carved out a £122bn share of the global market – worth £3.3 trillion – employing close to a million people.
“The choice between going green and going for growth is a false choice,” said Cridland. “The statistics back this up, it isn’t just a leap of faith”.
He warned that green policies must instil faith in both business and consumers, and their needless complexities must be tackled. “Policies have grown up independently of one another and they are intertwined in a gnarling mess,” he said.
According to Cridland, the Government’s most important priority was making sure that electricity reforms and carbon legislation were “right” and did not hamper green growth.
While the CBI backs mandatory carbon reporting, it has called for the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) to be scrapped immediately and replaced with an energy tax.
Cridland argued that the CRC would only serve to force energy-intensive industries out of the UK – dubbed carbon leakage – which will not overall reduce carbon emissions.
Cridland argued these industries would be crucial to the future development of the UK’s green economy and that the Government needed to do more to help energy intensive industries move over to low carbon energy.
The CBI report claims that for the Green Investment Bank to have a “transformative” effect, it needs to operate at scale. Around £7.5-£10bn in annual investment is needed in energy infrastructure alone, which cannot all come from the big six utilities firms.
Cridland also wanted to see the UK taking a stronger leadership in the development of future EU Emissions Trading Scheme and global climate negotiations.
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