You are here Publications Growing pains: British industry and the low-carbon transition

Growing pains: British industry and the low-carbon transition

business and industry, economy, energy, science and technology, sustainability

Publication image
Author(s):  David Nash, Will Straw, Reuben Balfour
Published date:  04 Jun 2012
Download full publication

The report explores the views of British industries that are critical to the low-carbon transition – the energy, transport and manufacturing sectors, as well as energy-intensive industries within manufacturing.

Our findings were drawn from a series of private roundtable discussions and interviews with senior executives from different sectors which shed light on the barriers to, and the opportunities presented by, the transition to a low-carbon economy.

The findings suggest that there are opportunities for UK plc to take advantage of and adapt to the challenges presented by the UK’s low-carbon transition (particularly in Transport and Energy sectors). However, the findings also highlight the need for policymakers to have a more active role in addressing the barriers to low-carbon growth (which face many manufacturing and energy-intensive industries in particular).

The paper presents a series of policy interventions which would reinforce the UK’s low-carbon ambitions and provide vital support to UK industries:

  1. Provide stable, consistent and long-term policy: industry representatives were united in their views that the policy framework should be stable; many complained about the government ‘moving its goalposts’.
  2. Develop sectoral industrial strategies to spur low-carbon energy, transport and manufacturing.
  3. Ensure more nuanced policy for energy-intensive firms: in some cases energy-intensive firms face barriers and challenges that are specific to their individual sectors.
  4. Introduce a targeted ‘green deal’ for manufacturers: manufacturers need more incentives to invest in low-carbon and energy-efficient technologies.
  5. Collaborate with European partners on low-carbon innovation to target possible technological breakthroughs.
  6. Work proactively with industry to promote international sectoral agreements: although not a replacement for binding country-level emissions reduction commitments, sectoral cooperation can be a precursor to greater regulatory action at the national and global levels.

Our people

Will Straw, Associate Director for Climate Change, Energy and Transport


In the news

IPPR think tank urges clarity over green policies
BBC News Website - 04 Jun 2012