Business backs plan to cut toxic emissions

2010-12-11 09:57

A number of British civil society bodies and business institutions have joined their government in a bid to reduce harmful emissions on the planet and promote the green economy globally.

Investment and advisory group Climate Change Capital; the Corporate Leaders Group (CLG), a programme for sustainable leadership based at the University of Cambridge consisting of 22 chief executives of top British companies;
and the Climate Group – an independent organisation that works with leading companies, states and cities around the world to promote low-carbon economies – are some of the institutions that have joined the government to reduce emissions in the UK.

The UK government intends to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20% in 2020 and plans for 15% of the country’s energy to come from renewable sources by 2020.

In 2050 the UK government wants to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 80%.

The government has also set aside £1 billion (about R11 billion) to create one of the world’s first commercial carbon capture and storage demonstration plants in a bid to strengthen the UK’s position as a leader in cleaner fossil fuel technology.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change has established guidelines to encourage other departments to reduce waste on energy costs. This, government officials said, would help reduce the British government’s £95 million yearly energy bill.

“We have very ambitious ­targets,” said Aled Williams, the department’s deputy head of news. “Finance is important.”

Amal-Lee Amin, the deputy head of the green investment bank team in the department, said the British government was planning to form a bank that would deal with climate change matters.

She said the form the bank would take would be known in the next few months.

“Whatever structure it takes, it should be able to meet the needs of the market,” she said.

Nicolette Bartlett, the programme manager of the CLG, said the group supported efforts to lower harmful emissions and move the economy to a low-carbon one.

“We endorse bringing a regulation to shift to a low-carbon economy. It is a case of calling for regulation and not just any regulation, but the right regulation,” she said. “This is what business wants. If we are going to manage climate change, we need to do it quickly.”

She said moves were afoot to set up a group like hers in South Africa.

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