Thursday, 16 July 2009

Government publishes strategy for low carbon transition

The Government launched its Low Carbon Industrial Strategy today, setting out plans for the transition to a low carbon economy.
The strategy proposes how to maximise opportunities and minimise costs, identifies low carbon sectors with potential for job creation and growth, and recognises obstacles to be overcome in those areas.
The document, which builds on the New Industry, New Jobs strategy published in April, also details the first investments from the £405M that was allocated to low carbon industries and advanced green manufacturing at Budget 2009.
Key investments include up to £60M for the wave and tidal sector and up to £15M to establish a Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre.
There will also be up to £10M for electric vehicle charging infrastructure and the establishment of an Office for Low Emission Vehicles, up to £120M to develop a British based offshore wind industry and a £4M expansion of the Manufacturing Advisory Service to identify low carbon opportunities.
A chance for development
Business Secretary Peter Mandelson announced the Low Carbon Industrial Strategy and said Britain must “use the transition as a chance to develop new jobs, new industries.
“We must ensure that we equip businesses and the workforce with the capabilities and skills to take advantage of the potential benefits. There is no high carbon future.”
Sectors identified for potential growth include wave and tidal power, civil nuclear power, offshore wind and ultra-low carbon vehicles.
Low Carbon Economic Areas will be designated to develop and accelerate low carbon economic activity. The first of these areas will be in the South West of England, with a focus on marine energy demonstration, servicing and manufacture.
The Government will also create a Forum for a Just Transition to advise on challenges for the workforce – particularly those in high carbon industries.
The Forum will include representatives from Central Government, national, local and regional bodies, Trade Unions, business organisations and third sector bodies.
A growing sector
Mandelson noted that low carbon and environmental goods and services already employ nearly 900,000 people in the UK directly and through the supply chain.
“With the sector set to grow by over 4% per annum over the next six years we must do all we can to support British businesses and workers in benefitting,” he said.
The strategy document states that “the move to a low carbon economy will bring costs as well as economic benefits for Britain.
“But the costs of inaction will be far greater than the costs of action.”
The Department for Transport also published a strategy today, entitled Low Carbon Transport: A Greener Future. The report sets out plans for the transition to low carbon specifically within the transport sector – a key component of the Government’s overall strategy.

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