Amber Rudd lays out UK's policy to tackle climate change

by Search Gate staff. Published Fri 24 Jul 2015 13:03
Energy Secretary lays out UK's vision to tackle climate change
Energy Secretary lays out UK's vision to tackle climate change

Energy Secretary Amber Rudd has delivered her vision for tackling climate change and described how the UK’s approach should be underpinned with a “pro-growth, pro-business” strategy.

In her first major speech as a Cabinet Minister, Amber Rudd set out the Government’s commitment to tackling climate change while ensuring policies are cost effective.

She said that the Government’s approach will help to protect the economy because failing to act would risk leading to lower growth, fewer jobs and higher prices.

“Just like our own economy at home, the global low-carbon economy needs to be a profitable economy of enterprise, competition, opportunity and growth,” she said.

“What I am not going to do as Energy and Climate Change Secretary is waste any time re-running old arguments about whether climate change is happening or not.

She added that this approach will see action taken in a way that keeps consumer bills down and encourages businesses to innovate, grow and create employment, so it does not come at the expense of prosperity today.

Speaking to business leaders at insurance company Aviva headquarters in London, she said that the global agreement to be finalised in Paris in December must work for business so that the private sector can play its full part in shaping the solutions to climate change through innovation, technology, enterprise and competition.

She added: “We are committed to taking action on climate change and we are clear that our long-term economic plan goes hand in hand with a long-term plan for climate action.

“Climate action is about security, plain and simple - economic security.

“If we don’t act, it will become increasingly hard to maintain our prosperity, protect our people and conserve our countryside.

“The economic impact of unchecked climate change would be profound.

“Lower growth, higher prices, a lower quality of life – not to mention many properties and businesses at higher risk from flooding and extreme weather.

“So I see climate action as a vital safety net for our families and businesses. Protecting our homes, our livelihoods, our prosperity. It is the ultimate insurance policy.”

Eliot Whittington, deputy director of the Corporate Leaders Group at the Cambridge Institute of Sustainability Leadership welcomed Amber Rudd’s speech.

He commented: "A long term climate plan is exactly what we need to secure our economic future. It’s great to hear a senior UK politician being so clear about the links between climate and economic prosperity and security. More and more companies are clear that the impacts of climate change represent a real cost to their business, and that there are huge opportunities for businesses to grow and develop new markets that are low-carbon and sustainable.

"However if UK companies are to make the most of those markets and position themselves at the forefront of this growing new economy, we need the clear and stable commitments to action from government.

“The recent flurry of announcements stepping back from a range of climate-related policies - many of which were quite recently introduced - creates uncertainty about where the UK is going. The challenge now for the UK government is to ensure that, come the international climate negotiations in Paris at the end of the year, there is absolute clarity on how the UK will meet its climate targets."

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