Businesses support evidence that there is no basis to change the fourth carbon budget

Jay Owen Green Prosperity, SRI/ESG News

Businesses support evidence that there is no basis to change the fourth carbon budget

Embargoed: 11th December 2013 00.01am

A large and powerful alliance of Britain’s biggest businesses have publically supported a review by the Committee on Climate Change which concludes that there is no basis to change the Fourth Carbon Budget.

The review finds that a strategy of reducing emissions through the 2020s could save over £100 billion, and the competitive risks of industry off shoring in response to rising electricity prices are mitigated under current Government policies, which exempt electricity intensive companies from costs of power sector decarbonisation.

Peter Young, Chairman of the Aldersgate Group said: “It is refreshing to see the internationally respected Committee on Climate Change deliver such clarity in its review of the Fourth Carbon Budget. The only reasonable course of action is for the Government to fully accept the recommendations, as the evidence clearly states that the core objectives remain unchanged for 2023-2027. This will provide businesses with vital confidence to invest now, delivering the optimum trajectory for decarbonising the economy and meeting the statutory targets set by the Climate Change Act.

“If this budget review is endorsed without delay, it will underpin future growth from the low carbon sector which generated a trade surplus of £5.2bn last year. We wholeheartedly support the Committee’s conclusions and the opportunity this report provides to deliver the certainty essential for sustainable growth of the whole economy.”

David Nussbaum, CEO of WWF-UK, said: “There is widespread consensus across business sectors and civil society that the government must stop blowing hot and cold on its support to the UK’s fast growing low-carbon economy, a sector that according to the CBI could halve the UK’s trade deficit in the next financial year. The government must use this opportunity to reaffirm its commitment to ambitious emission cuts in the 2020s and thereby signal that the UK is open for low-carbon business and ready to play its part in a global effort to tackle climate change.”

The Aldersgate Group was one of over one hundred business representatives to sign a statement that will appear in today’s Times, supporting the Fourth Carbon Budget. This broad-based alliance of businesses and other organisations believes a stable policy framework, created by the carbon budgets, is vital to provide business certainty.

The Aldersgate Group is hosting a debate on the Fourth Carbon Budget in Parliament tomorrow in Westminster. Expert panels will debate whether the Fourth Carbon Budget is in the UK’s economic interests and will be judged by a parliamentary panel of MPs.

List of signatories to statement: PZ Cussons, Unilever, Kingfisher, Sainsbury’s, ASDA, M&S, Ikea, Telefonica – O2, Cisco, Thames Water, Anglian Water, WSP, Philips, Aviva, Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change, Royal and Sun Alliance, Alstom, Cap Gemini, Sky, Nestle, PepsiCo, Mars, Sodexo, Alpro, Jaguar Land Rover, Interface, ACCA Global, Biffa, Bioregional, CERAM, Dalkia, Eftec, ETI, Grant Thornton, Johnson Matthey, L&Q Group, Landmark, Memset, MITIE, Reed Elsevier, Vestas, Gamesa Wind UK Ltd, REpower, Harland and Wolff, Seajacks, Modus Seabed Intervention, Triodos Bank, Aldersgate Group, UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association, Dong Energy, SSE, Renewable Energy Systems (RES), EDP Renewables, Mainstream Renewable Power, Aquamarine, SKM Enviros, Sustain, UK Green Building Council, Willmott Dixon, Ecotricity, Solarcentury, the Carbon Capture and Storage Association, Renewable UK, the Renewable Energy Association, Scottish Renewables, the Solar Trade Association, the TUC, Nexus Energy Solutions, Earth Mill, Carbon Reduction Technologies Ltd, Green Directions, The Rubber Roofing Co Ltd, Energy 4 All, Energie Solutions, Drakes Renewables, Foster Renewable Energies, Future Electric, Evolution Renewable Energy Solutions Ltd, Kensa Engineering, Quantum, Stamford Renewables, Independent Energy Projects, Awel Aman Tawe, HE Translation, Humber Energy, Serene Energy, Eco2Solar, Natural Power, the Happy Frogs, LDA design, Better Planet, Entrust, Wattcraft, Samad Power, GJH Façade Fixing Ltd, IEC Energy Ltd, Bineri Ltd, Business in the Community, IPPR, the Church of Scotland, Shrinking the footprint – the Church of England’s environment campaign, Christian Aid, WWF-UK, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, RSPB, 10:10.

Notes to editors:

1.     The Aldersgate Group is an alliance of leaders from business, politics and civil society that drives action for a sustainable economy. Our mission is to trigger the change in policy required to address environmental challenges effectively and secure the maximum economic benefit in sustainable growth, jobs and competitiveness.

2.     The Fourth Carbon Budget, which was proposed by the Committee on Climate Change in December 2010, sets out the required reduction in the UK’s emissions of greenhouse gases between 2023 and 2027 to stay on a cost-effective pathway to meeting the UK’s legally binding obligation of reducing its emissions by at least 80% by 2050 compared to 1990 levels. The Coalition Government accepted the Committee’s recommendations in 2011, subject to a review in 2014.

3.     Following a decision by the Coalition Government in 2011 to review the Fourth Carbon Budget in spring 2014, the Committee on Climate Change provided its revised advice today in which it stated that as the circumstances had not materially changed since the budget was originally set, the UK should maintain its emission reduction ambition for the period of the Fourth Carbon Budget, as recommended back in 2010.

4.     To see a copy of the statement which is embargoed until 00.01 on Wednesday 11th December, contact Victoria on the details below.

5.     For more information on the Aldersgate Group’s Fourth Carbon Budget debate, visit


Victoria Fleming-Williams

Policy Officer

T: 020 7841 8966 / 077 6262 2128

Hub Westminster, New Zealand House, 80 Haymarket, London SW1Y 4TE