Green transition report lacks new initiatives

16th September 2011

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Related tags

  • Adaptation ,
  • Mitigation ,
  • Renewable



The government has responded to calls by business leaders to define what it means by a green economy and to clarify businesses' role in the transition by publishing a new joint report from DECC, Defra and the business department (BIS).

The document, Enabling the transition to a green economy, provides a vision to 2020 and maps out planned government action in a number of areas, including on climate change and resource efficiency.

The key theme is cooperation between the business community and the government, and the report highlights the creation of the Green Economy Council – a group of chief executives and government ministers that meets quarterly to discuss how the economy can rise to the low-carbon challenge – as evidence of how this partnership will work going forward.

“Moving to a green economy presents huge opportunities for British businesses not only to reduce their environmental impact, but also to transform products and services, develop cleaner technologies, and capture new international markets,” said environment secretary Caroline Spelman.

Although the document includes recommendations for business that the government says will deliver major cost savings and increased competitiveness, it contains no new policy initiatives, mainly regurgitating policies already in place.

The lack of any new announcements was criticised by environmental groups.

“These publications are basically a summary of what the government is already doing,” commented Luke Wreford, at WWF UK.

Steve Lee, chief executive at the Chartered Institute of Waste Management, said: “We look forward to seeing more information on the real measures that will need to be put in place to underpin the government’s vision and support UK businesses to meet the challenges ahead, many of which are not sufficiently addressed in this document.”


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