UK industry leaders believe that ministers should set a specific target for restricting carbon emissions from power generation. More than 50 businesses, including well-known names such as Asda, Sky, PepsiCo, Microsoft, Marks and Spencer, have signed the letter to Chancellor George Osborne, in which they encourage the government to set a 2030 target on decarbonising the power sector in the UK. Moreover business leaders have also warned Chancellor George Osborne that mixed signals on green energy policy might weaken investment in renewable energy sector in the UK.
The Business Leaders’ letter
Over 50 companies, investors and industry bodies decided to send a letter to the Chancellor George Osborne ahead of his speech to the ruling Conservative Party, demanding clarity on the government's approach to a lower-carbon economy in the UK. Business leaders, including EDF, the energy group, and BT, the telecoms groups, and others, have called on the Chancellor George Osborne to support a 2030 target for decarbonising the electricity sector in the UK. As it was stated in the letter, “It is essential for government to provide investors with the long-term confidence they need to transform our electricity market and make investments capable of driving wider economic growth.”
However business leaders, including really big names in the UK market such as Aviva, Alliance Boots, BT, British American Tobacco, Cisco, Philips, The Co-operative and Tridos Bank, did not specify a level for the 2030 carbon target as they decided to ask only for setting a target.
All these business leaders in the UK only want the government to set a target for how emissions should be reduced by 2030. Industry leaders, who signed the letter, strongly believe that a failure of setting the 2030 carbon target and showing the lack of commitment to reducing carbon emissions will impact not only the economy in general but also their commercial prospects.
The letter has been addressed to the Chancellor George Osborne who is known as one of the biggest opponent of a 2030 carbon target. In 2011 his action led to a review of the UK’s carbon targets for the 2020s. Also the Chancellor George Osborne is a big supporter of a new “dash for gas”, which would involve building approximately 20 gas-fired power stations. According to renewable energy companies as well as ecologists, these power stations could raise carbon emissions and reduce investment in renewable energy in the UK.
2030 Carbon Target
Business leaders, who signed the letter to the Chancellor George Osborne, are convinced that the 2030 carbon target would stimulate investment; it would renew the UK’s energy infrastructure as well. The businesses want to ensure that all of the UK’s electricity comes from low-carbon source. They strongly believe that the 2030 carbon target would require an expansion of renewable energy in the UK and also nuclear power, not to mention the installation of carbon capture and storages at fuel power stations as well.
Moreover companies and investors claim that the 2030 carbon target for the energy sector in the UK would give investors long-term confidence which is essential while transforming electricity market and promoting economic growth. The letter was co-ordinated by the Aldersgate Group, which is a coalition of businesses supporting steps toward obtaining a sustainable green economy.