UKGBC: Businesses need better support from Government to tackle climate change

The Climate Change Act is a boon rather than a burden for companies looking to tackle climate change, argues a coalition of leading construction and property firms backed by the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC)

In an open letter published in The Daily Telegraph today (3 November), the businesses warn that “undermining of the Climate Change Act is deeply unhelpful, and creates uncertainty”, and that “it should continue to be the central framework against which to deliver clear and consistent policy”.

“In recent weeks there have been questions raised about whether Britain can afford to be at the forefront of these global efforts,” read the letter.

“Our businesses are convinced that Britain can and should be a world leader, and that far from being a burden to UK Plc, clear commitment to tackling climate change will open up opportunities for businesses both at home and abroad.”

In October, former Environment Secretary Owen Paterson criticised the Act – which enforces an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 – saying it would cost consumers in the short and medium-term, and eventually force the lights to go out in Britain.

Climate changing

The UKGBC letter comes the day after the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published its latest Synthesis Report, warning that climate change is set to inflict “severe, widespread, and irreversible impacts” on the planet, unless carbon emissions are cut sharply and rapidly.

Chief executive of the UKGBC Paul King said: “The IPCC has once again warned us that time is not on our side in the global fight against climate change but that a window of opportunity is still open.

“Businesses firmly understand that investing in and developing the solutions to limit climate change present enormous economic opportunities, but need the support of Governments to do so. In the UK, the Climate Change Act provides that support, setting the direction of travel businesses know they must move towards in order to reap these benefits.” 

Brad Allen

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