Manufacturers can lead the way on climate change

Posted on 31 Jan 2008 by The Manufacturer

Manufacturers are well placed to take advantage of the commercial opportunities presented by the drive towards a low carbon economy, according to a new report from EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation.

By 2020, the UK must source 15 per cent of its energy from renewable sources and cut CO2 emissions by 16 per cent in response to challenging targets set by the European Commission. This will create significant challenges for industry in terms of its competitiveness.

“Moving to a low carbon economy will create significant business opportunities and UK industry is well placed to exploit them,” said EEF Chairman Martin Temple. “However, this will only happen if companies are quick to identify these opportunities and move swiftly to take advantage of them. The Government also needs to back industry with a strategy that provides leadership, overcomes the barriers and helps develop the capabilities needed to deliver a low carbon economy.”

Jane Lodge, UK manufacturing industry leader at Deloitte, added: “A range of opportunities exist for manufacturers to develop new climate friendly technology and many UK businesses are already world class in their sectors. However, there is still much work to be done both by manufacturers themselves and also by government in order for the right environment to be created that will allow these opportunities to be realised.”

According to the report, significant business opportunities exist for manufacturers in three key areas: low carbon energy; low carbon vehicles and energy efficiency.

Yet despite these opportunities, the industry still faces a number of barriers to overcome before it can realise the potential of the low-carbon economy. EEF and Deloitte have proposed a series of recommendations to help create a conducive business environment, encourage the development of key technologies and empower consumers to make decisions that will allow these markets to take off, including:

• Give greater priority to research and development
• Provide targeted support for the wind energy supply chain
• Develop a long-term strategy and review support for marine renewables
• Establish a specific support mechanism for carbon capture and storage
• Make low carbon products more financially accessible
• Broaden range of low carbon products