Call for clarity over green policy
Jun 05 2012
The Government needs to offer businesses a firm commitment that it believes in green technologies if it wants companies to invest in new environmentally friendly industries, a think-tank said today.
Research found ministers were sending "mixed signals" about their aims to reduce carbon emissions - initially promising ambitious targets before seemingly wavering about the effect they could have on the economy.
Ministers caution was making industry leaders in the energy sector jittery about investing in new forms of green technology, the Institute of Public Policy (IPPR) report said.
To shore up business confidence, the Treasury should also abandon plans to introduce a "carbon floor price" - a green energy tax which would set a minimum price for the greenhouse gases.
Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey has said the scheme, due to be introduced next year, would encourage firms to develop more environmentally friendly technologies. But critics have warned the tax will inevitably be passed on to consumers.
Reg Plant, a research fellow at the IPPR, said the global market for environmental goods and services was worth an estimated £2.27 trillion and was growing by 4% a year.
He said: "An ambitious decarbonisation policy offers a route to long-term sustainable economic growth, and productive British businesses. But businesses need to know the Government will provide consistent support for their investments - and at the moment ministers blow hot and cold on their commitment to a green future."
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