Bosses support decarbonisation

1st September 2016

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Clare Blackledge

Members of the Institute of Directors (IoD) overwhelmingly believe the UK needs to decarbonise its energy use to mitigate the effects of climate change.

Nearly three-quarters (74%) of almost 1,000 IoD members polled said they strongly or somewhat agreed that decarbonistion was necessary. The survey also revealed that the majority of members believe successive UK governments have failed to deliver an adequate energy policy, with two-thirds blaming politicians for failing to ensure the country’s energy security.

However, almost 60% agreed that policymakers had been reasonably successful in increasing renewable energy sources, and 45% were satisfied with efforts to reduce carbon emissions.

The survey revealed strong support for all renewable technologies: 88% backed tidal power; 87% endorsed solar; 79% approved of offshore wind; and 56% were in favour of onshore wind.

However, Dan Lewis, infrastructure policy adviser at the IoD, said renewables were only part of the solution. ‘Technology based on the weather doesn’t work all of the time, so the UK needs a mix of renewables, nuclear and the cleanest hydrocarbons,’ he said.

Meanwhile, a report by the World Energy Council says reducing barriers to trade and investment would support cost effectiveness and efficient decarbonisation of the energy sector. The global energy body said non-tariff measures (NTMs), such as customs procedures and technical standards, affect 80–90% of global trade and are estimated to have twice the impact on trade than tariff barriers.

Reducing or eliminating these is key to developing a low-carbon economy and enabling countries to develop sustainable energy systems, says its annual World Energy Perspectives report.

The council wants a global agreement on the phasing out non-tariff barriers on products that are covered in the current multi-national environmental goods tariff negotiations. Tackling NTMs that have an impact on the low-carbon energy sector should be a priority, says the report, helping countries to address the energy trilemma of security, equity and environmental sustainability.

‘Addressing the energy trilemma presents extraordinary challenges for policymakers and requires an adequate global trade and investment regime,’ said Christoph Frei, the council’s secretary-general.

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