East Midlands can be at forefront of UK’s “green industrial revolution”, says Chamber
Following the Prime Minister’s announcement of a £4bn green plan to tackle climate change and create jobs in the low-carbon economy, East Midlands Chamber (Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire) chief executive Scott Knowles said: “On the face of it, today’s announcement is just the type of bold vision the UK needs in order to seriously rebuild our economy with a greener tint.
“It signals that these are the sectors where businesses need to invest in the future, while it should remove some of the financial barriers that have so far prevented many firms from switching to the low-carbon economy – although questions remain about whether the £4bn funding from Government is anywhere near sufficient to truly stimulate a green revolution.
“This news comes hot on the heels of the Chamber’s Sustainable East Midlands campaign, which was launched last week to highlight the benefits in embracing the sustainability agenda to the region’s businesses, while acting as a new hub for signposting companies to the support available to them.
“We’re excited to hear more about this from Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng, the Minister for Business, Energy and Clean Growth, at our East Midlands Energy Summit tomorrow (Thursday 19 November), an event that will place sustainability at the top of the agenda for the region’s post-Covid economy.
“We believe the Government’s UK Net Zero 2050 vision plays into our region’s strengths as the East Midlands has all the pieces of the sustainability jigsaw – the high energy users in manufacturing, energy producers in our coalfield heritage and new hi-tech businesses coming out of our world-leading universities – putting us in a position to be at the forefront of delivering a low-carbon economy.
“In research conducted with the University of Derby that preceded the campaign, we found that engagement with this subject is quickly rising in the East Midlands but there remains a yawning gap in awareness.
“The percentage of businesses deriving turnover from low-carbon and pro-environmental goods and services has nearly doubled between 2015 and 2020 – growing from 16% to 31% – and just over a third (35%) of businesses said they were integrating clean growth into their business plan.
“On the flip side, four in 10 businesses told us they didn’t feel well-informed about support for clean growth.
“This suggests the Government still has a lot to do in order to encourage more businesses to switch to the low-carbon economy by pushing on-the-ground activity to engage and support more firms – and making sure the financial incentives involved will make a tangible difference to their bottom line.
“Only then will it be realistic to achieve the targets set by the UK Net Zero policy and bring the exciting vision for a green industrial revolution to fruition.”