By Artemis Moshtaghian, November 16, 2016
The British government has called on the private sector to step up to meet its responsibilities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, with a call for large organizations to invest £150bn by 2050. The level, which would be equivalent to more than 2% of their current financial revenues, would go to drive innovation in energy efficiency, renewable energy and “green” transportation.
In a keynote speech delivered today at the European Payments Forum in London, Brexit Secretary David Davis urged industry to go further in its emissions reductions than the level proposed by the government. He said: “The suggestion that there is not much room for improvement is fundamentally wrong. The real question is how much innovation and how much growth will be possible in the green economy,” he said, calling on companies to innovate ahead of the widely anticipated new international climate change deal that will be negotiated in December in Paris. “So to our business friends: where else is it possible to cut emissions faster and be more competitive than the private sector?”
The prime minister, Theresa May, has also come under pressure to back the UK’s commitment to carbon taxes on low and middle income households. Last week, U.S. President Barack Obama told the BBC that she must implement a “fair deal” on green taxes so that the UK could afford to cut carbon emissions. He said: “If the United Kingdom loses the ability to introduce carbon taxes, it has to find a way of helping out the middle class because they are the ones that are going to suffer the most from the changes that have to take place.”