The UK’s Green Economy Council, set up to support the transition to a green, low carbon economy, held its first meeting on Wednesday. The Council’s mandate is to look at how government and industry can work together to help business rise to the low carbon challenge.
The Council wants to get government and industry working together to minimise the costs for business and maximise the opportunities from a green economy. Business leaders from a cross-section of industries, including Ford, Centrica and IBM, will advise government on green policies relating to infrastructure, innovation, investment and regulation. On the government side, Ministers from three departments will be involved; the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS), the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).
Initial issues include the Green Economy Roadmap, which will set out the Government’s long term strategy on climate change and the environment.
There does seem to be a disconnect (if not confusion) here between reducing carbon emissions and creating an economy that benefits from the opportunities.
The current government’s climate change strategy is still not clear, but on the other hand they want business to gear up to maximise the opportunities for companies in the UK. The press release actually talks about companies advising government on ‘unnecessary regulation’, which seems a bit ironic. Without legislation and regulation around climate change there will be much less of an opportunity!
Business Secretary Vince Cable made some sense when he said “The transition to a green economy brings both opportunities and challenges that we need to tackle now to achieve sustainable growth and meet climate change targets”. Hopefully the companies being consulted that have previously expressed their climate change concerns, such as IBM, will continue to do so in this forum.