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Government urged to deliver consistent green policy

Government urged to deliver consistent green policy

Government urged to deliver consistent green policy

All businesses have control over their own green policies, with the power to make decisions on matters such as the appliances they operate in the workplace and which eco-friendly service suppliers they want to use.

However, it's also true that organisations based in the UK are, to varying degrees, at the mercy of the government and whatever policies and laws the current administration elects to implement.

Britain is currently at a hugely significant crossroads as far as government policy and leadership are concerned, following David Cameron's decision to resign as prime minister in the wake of the Brexit vote. Former home secretary Theresa May replaced Mr Cameron and has already made a number of significant ministerial and departmental changes, one of which was the creation of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

Mrs May and her government now face the challenge of negotiating Britain's exit from the European Union, which could bring significant consequences in terms of the environmental regulations and laws British businesses have to comply with.

Sustainability news and information hub Edie recently conducted a survey of businessmen, sustainability professionals, politicians and environmental activists to compile a "wishlist for the green economy".

One of the outcomes of the study suggested that businesses want the government to set clear, consistent green policies, so companies know where they stand and what is expected of them. The former Department of Energy and Climate Change was criticised for creating a "chop-and-change" culture that could have put the UK at risk of missing the requirements of the legally binding Fifth Carbon Budget.

The forthcoming Autumn Statement will provide an opportunity for the government to outline its plans for achieving objectives such as reducing carbon emissions and investing in renewable energy.

Richard Warren, senior energy and environment policy adviser at manufacturers' association EEF, told edie that the new energy policy statement should summarise "clearly and concisely the government's intended direction of travel and approach to key technologies".

Business, political and sustainability leaders taking part in the survey also expressed a desire for Britain to regain its status as a global trendsetter in renewable energy investment. The government has recently come in for criticism after making policy changes that reduced incentives for investors.

Angus MacNeil, chair of the Energy and Climate Change Committee and MP for Scottish constituency Na h-Eileanan an Iar, said the recent approach "created too many barriers to investment for business".

He added: "The UK is screaming out for renewables investment and screaming out for the government to stop viewing itself as a company but actually to govern. They have to look again at what they've done with onshore wind and solar. I think they have to be governed by the cheapest form of renewables, but they also have to recognise the people want to develop in these areas."

More investment could help to bring renewables down in price, making measures like solar panels more accessible for forward-thinking, eco-friendly businesses.

 

Posted by Julie Tucker

Image courtesy of iStock/Petmal