EEF calls for decarbonisation targets as Canada quits Kyoto Protocol

Posted on 13 Dec 2011 by The Manufacturer

Trade body EEF launch a new report today titled ‘Green and Growth Solutions for Growing a Green Economy’ as Canada announces its withdrawal from the Kyoto Protocol, tipping the global playing field even further for UK manufacturing.

According a new report from non-profit organisation, Engineering UK, Canada now pips the UK as the world’s sixth largest manufacturing economy. Yesterday Canada declared that the terms of the Kyoto Protocol were insupportable for its industrial base.

Despite this indication that international competitors see limitations to the compatibility of environmental policy and industrial strength EEF will today release a report which attempts to highlight ways to align the two strategies.

In doing this EEF has called for a simplification of environmental policy. EEF asked for a 2030 decarbonisation target to be placed at the heart of policy decisions. According to EEF, this target should become the primary driver of the government’s energy policy helping to simplify what it calls the “current confused and complex landscape.”

In addition to this new focus, EEF has called on government to give more evidence that its Renewables Target is achievable – though it has called for it abolition.

Stating his belief that the report shows a route to combining environmental leadership with competitive industry EEF CEO Terry Scuoler said: “Industry can play a major role in growing and greening our economy but until recently, there has been insufficient attention on helping to achieve this.”

This view is borne out by EEF evidence which indicates that while two-thirds of UK manufacturing companies see the emerging low-carbon economy as an opportunity for competitive advantage, only one in eight viewed the UK as a favourable place to invest in its development due to the cost imposed by environmental legislation and uncertainty the long term direction of this policy area.

The report details 10 recommendations to government for the alignment of economic growth and green policy. Importantly, these recommendations promote a move away from measures which increase the cost of carbon but fail to prompt investment in green technologies.

Among EEFs top recommendations are:

  • The establishment of a 2030 energy decarbonisation target as the primary driver of its energy policy
  • A new focus for energy policy centring on Feed in Tariffs and the abolition of the Carbon Price Floor as soon as fiscally possible
  • Consolidation of the UK carbon reduction scheme to one core programme
  • The establishment of Carbon Intensity Targets for certain sectors
  • Greater focus in ensuring the Green Investment Bank delivers for UK manufacturing
  • The establishment of an ambition to become a global leader in Carbon Capture and Storage