Sunday, July 14, 2024

CBI Chief Exec warns new Government: You’ll have to be pro-green

CBI chief executive Rain Newton-Smith is warning of the risks of trying to “separate the economy from net zero” and tell whoever forms the next Government they “can’t be pro-growth and deliver for our people and communities, without being pro-green.”

As the election campaign entered its final days, she spoke of deafening silence from all parties about the issues of climate change, about biodiversity loss, net zero and our planet” in contrast to what she says is the  “consensus case from business” for net zero as a growth opportunity.

With the CBI’s Going for Green report revealing that the next government could add as much as £57bn to the economy from green growth by 2030, Newton-Smith is calling on both the main parties to commit to delivering five steps to achieving green growth.

She said: The next government ‘s got to be loud and proud in making green growth part of a new investor pitch for brand Britain. No more prevarication, no more rowed back commitments. Whoever forms the next government has to let the world know it’s serious about the investment opportunities from net zero and that we’re in this for the long-haul. Make decisions and stick to them.

“Whether it’s continuing with the ‘five growth sector’ strategy, or part of a new plan for sustainable growth, the next Chancellor must set out our national stall.”

Shew called for an Office for Net Zero, a Net Zero investment plan, transformational technology, and riding over ‘nimbyism’. “Recent attempts to expand and upgrade  the grid have run up against nimbyism. This matters… Tens of billions of pounds of net zero investment – and the future attractiveness of the UK as a place to invest – hinge on the grid. So… the next government must back rapid grid upgrades and work in partnership with business – to get them done. Without that, there’s no net zero, no green growth.”

She added: “It’s a dangerous error to try and separate  the economy from net zero. There is still too much in our political discourse that amounts to – ‘can we afford to go for net zero?’ But the real question is – can we afford not to?”

“The cost of inaction the OBR has set out… the hit to our GDP will be five times higher if we don’t act, than if we act early. But there is another cost on top of all that – the cost of falling behind in the global race for cheaper, more reliable, more efficient energy. The huge emerging markets for new technologies.”

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