CBI calls for green action
by Alan Harten
April 7, 2009
The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has criticised the Government for failing to act fast enough to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.
The Government cannot blame the recession, only its own inaction, the CBI said.
The CBI will today unveil an energy paper, which will blame poor assistance for carbon reducing systems, lack of information about EU carbon pricing and trading and bad planning for the fact that some major players in the energy markets, including BP and Shell may cut or rethink their investments in British clean energy.
These investments, amounting to billions of pounds, may be diverted to China or the US the CBI believes.
It says that the Government must act very quickly on issues such as improving the national power grid, carbon capture in coal burning power facilities, speeding investment in nuclear and offshore wind generating sources and ensuring a continuing supply of sufficient power.
CBI Director General, Richard Lambert, said that the Government had taken the correct policies on board, but companies were very nervous about investing in the UK.
The Government must move urgently or insufficient private investment will come in, he commented.
The Renewable Energy Association (REA) will publish today figures from a survey demonstrating that poor cash flow caused by the economic downturn has become a problem for 32 out of 39 of its members polled.
It is believed that some companies would go down because the Government has stopped its Low Carbon Building Programme, which gave financial assistance to business and homeowners using sustainable power systems.
Even some banks have turned down applications for loans for small power schemes, because of uncertainty about Government action.
The Director General of the REA, Philip Wolfe, said the survey shows that immediate action by the Government is required.
In spite of all the talk, no money has been provided for the sustainable resource sector reducing the competitiveness of British companies against those overseas, which have been given support.
The Department for Energy and Climate Change believes that investors are ready to inject cash into nuclear energy projects.
The inducement for investment in offshore wind turbine facilities has been raised by 50 percent.
The Department said it is aiming to maintain an attractive environment for investment in energy in the UK and remove any obstacles that appear.
The CBI warning coincides with the failure of the G20 Summit to include action on ecological problems in the £743bn global stimulus scheme.
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