EEF: Govt approach to green policy not matching industry ambitions

Posted on 30 Jul 2012

Manufacturers’ organisation EEF called for a full review of climate and environment policies and green and growth ‘stress test’ to apply to all new legislation.

According to a survey carried out by the trade association, the government is failing to match the ambitions of the industry through a continued pursuit of complex, costly and incoherent climate and environment policies.

The called-for review should provide a more strategic approach to policy with a better of mix of measures to realise the benefits of a low carbon economy and to reduce the cost and simplify the current administrative burden.

EEF has also proposed a new green and growth ‘stress test’. This would require any new and reviewed climate and environment legislation to demonstrate a positive contribution to the government’s green and growth ambitions before it goes ahead.

EEF chief executive Terry Scuoler said: “Britain faces a major challenge to de-carbonise its economy and strengthen economic growth. Despite some progress, the simple truth is the government’s own policies are failing to match industry’s own ambitions with a confused and cluttered landscape adding to the cost burdens rather than driving investment.

“Government must now learn from manufacturers’ own efforts and develop policies which work with the grain of industry, rather than against it. Such an approach will help us meet our ambitious green targets, enable manufacturers to grow their businesses and help rebalance the economy.”

According to EEF’s survey manufacturers are taking the initiative with 70% of them having environmental targets which go beyond legislation. In addition, two thirds of manufacturers say cutting carbon and managing energy use is their number one priority and will remain so for the next five years.

The survey also showed the biggest barrier to making further improvements is now the burden of dealing with climate and environment legislation. This is especially acute for SMEs with 72% saying the cost of complying has increased and 74% saying they have to spend