Green policies are unsustainable, warns EEF

15th September 2011

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  • Life Cycle Analysis



The UK's approach to tackling climate change is hampering green growth and should be refocused to better consider lifecycle emissions, says the EEF.

In a new report, “Green and growth”, the manufacturing body argues that a shift in policy to consider the carbon dioxide emitted by products throughout their lifecycle could “radically widen the scope for reducing emissions” while supporting energy-intensive industries like steel making to embrace innovative approaches to improving materials.

Launched alongside survey findings confirming that 75% of UK manufacturers believe the increasing costs of environmental policies will damage their ability to compete internationally, the report suggests that a fundamental shift in policies to drive behaviour change and provide greater incentives to cut CO2 would provide the green growth needed to revitalise the economy.

Steve Radley, EEF director of policy, criticised the government’s existing approach to climate change saying it left manufacturers at the mercy of poorly designed policies and was actually limiting decarbonisation.

“We’ve bound ourselves to the costly renewables target and we’ve focused on the easy to tax sources of carbon emissions, such as manufacturing production… and we’ve placed climate change and growth policies in silos rather than thinking of them more holistically,” he said.

“If we’re going to do better, then we need to think and act differently. We need to see a wholesale shift to a more sustainable approach to climate change and ways of achieving this.”

The interim report, which has been published ahead of a final research paper due out in November, also calls on government to provide greater stability of policy, to overcome what it labels as a “history of inconsistency and uncertainty” and provide reassurance for investors.


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