British business must tackle carbon economy
Creating a low-carbon economy is vital to unlocking new wealth and many jobs in the UK, according to a British think tank.Sustainability Northwest (SNW) has produced a five-point plan for business action on climate change, outlining where business needs to do better to achieve higher levels of efficiency and to open new market opportunities.
"Business has already done a great deal to confront the challenge of climate change, but the real leaps and hurdles lie ahead" chief executive of SNW Erik Bichard pointed out. "The regional economy that really gets to grips with providing low carbon solutions and a reduction in energy demand will succeed in winning a massive competitive advantage, but action has to start today, not tomorrow."
The key areas that businesses need to focus on, according to the organisation, include:
Mr Bichard said that decoupling energy use from economic growth was the way to make the UK synonymous with low carbon solutions.
"If the government is to hit its own target of a 60% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions before the middle of this century then there can be only one solution," he warned. "We'd better mean business when it comes to climate change."
However, head of environmental policy for the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) Matthew Farrow told edie that it was not just up to the business sector to tackle climate change, with household emissions barely changed and greenhouse gas emissions from transport constantly spiralling.
"We all need to work harder to create a low-carbon UK," he commented. "The key thing now is for the UK's newly re-elected government to make sure that all of our efforts to combat climate change are matched by equally strong policies."
By Jane Kettle