New government must create local demand for low carbon economy
Whoever is leading the country come May 7 needs to do more to stimulate the low carbon economy, according to a leading figure in the environmental industries.
Philip Dilley, chairman of consultancy Arup and the London branch of business lobby the CBI, said: “The incoming government has to invest in creating a local demand for low carbon energy,”
He called for more regulations to give business certainty and help the commercial world to make the right choices.
“We need more regulations that incentive investment in low carbon technology,” he said, citing the new Feed in Tariff.
Speaking at an event hosted by clean tech company Ultra Green this week, he also said the new government needed to address the skills gap facing the industry.
“One in three firms in the environmental sector is being hampered by a shortage of skilled staff,” he said.
He also called for central government to empower city authorities, pointing to the progress made by metropolises at the Copenhagen climate negotiations.
He pointed out that national and regional or local initiatives could work well together when providing a stimulus for the low carbon economy.
Citing London’s congestion charge, brought in by the previous Mayor Ken Livingstone, he said that by allowing electric vehicles to enter the city centre free, the scheme had done more for low carbon vehicle sector than any national incentive.
Coupled with national incentives, that had made the UK an attractive prospect for those seeking to develop electric vehicles.
“That’s created an embryonic industry in this country,” he said.