Businesses are key to convincing the government to take action on climate and environmental issues, according to the chair of the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), Lord Deben.
Speaking at an Aldersgate Group event, Deben said the business community has to make the government understand that it is not anti-business to set standards or to regulate.
“That’s not anti-business, it’s pro-business, and there are too many people in government today who don’t understand that,” he said. Deben said governments need to realise the importance of setting parameters for its support for low-carbon technologies so that businesses have the certainty they require to invest. “The CCC has made it absolutely clear that the first priority of the new government is to give business certainty for the next decade.”
He also said the civil service needed to better understand the urgency required when making decisions on carbon policy. “It seems to be possible to put things off in the civil service to an extent that is not acceptable to business. We have no real structure for how we’re going to meet carbon budgets after 2020.”
However, he warned campaigners that the government must be free to change policy. “Of course you want as much stability as possible, but if the price of solar comes down very sharply then we have to change the subsidy system,” he said. “We have to face down those in the green lobby whose knee-jerk reaction, the moment the government says anything like that, is that there must be something wicked behind it.”