Major UK businesses call for Government clarity on decarbonising economy

An alliance of the UK's largest businesses has called on the Government to set a 2030 decarbonisation target for the power sector, as this is "essential to stimulating new growth" in the economy.

In the run up to a crucial vote on the 2030 target, the alliance has said that greater clarity from Government is the only way to unleash the £110bn investment required to transform the UK’s electricity infrastructure and drive wider economic benefits.

On June 3 MPs will vote on an amendment to the Energy Bill tabled by Tim Yeo MP and Labour’s Barry Gardiner to ensure a target to decarbonise electricity, and a delivery strategy, are in place by 2014.

Earlier today, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) published a report on the Electricity Market Reform (EMR), which recommends that the Government should set a target under the Energy Bill to reduce the carbon intensity of power generation from current levels of 500 gCO2/kWh to around 50 gCO2/kWh in 2030.

Executive director of the Aldersgate Group, the alliance of business leaders, Andrew Raingold, said: “This independent analysis provides yet further evidence that the high degree of uncertainty about the energy system beyond 2020 threatens to lead to increased risks and ballooning costs for consumers.”

“That is why businesses have been publically backing the need for more clarity on the direction of travel to 2030 by setting an explicit target in the Energy Bill. This will not only reduce costs but provide greater certainty for companies to invest in the development of UK supply chains and jobs. It’s a pro-growth and pro-deficit reduction strategy.”

In October 2012, the Aldersgate Group wrote an open letter to the Chancellor on the day of his speech to the Conservative Party Conference, warning that recent statements calling for unabated gas in the power sector post 2030 are damaging business confidence in the low carbon economy and undermining major investments capable of delivering growth.

The letter was signed by over fifty businesses, investors, industry bodies, trade unions and environmental groups. These include ASDA, Aviva, Alliance Boots, British American Tobacco, Cisco, EDF, Eurostar, Marks & Spencer, PepsiCo, Philips, Reed Elsevier, Sky, The Co-Operative and Tridos Bank.

Leigh Stringer

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