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Cridland and Gore question UK's green strategy

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Former US vice president Al Gore and CBI director general John Cridland today both voiced doubts over the UK government’s commitment to tackling climate change

The pair made separate speeches today at a Green Alliance and CBI event on the upcoming Paris climate negotiations.

Gore told the audience that he was puzzled by a number of measures by the Conservative government, including cuts in subsidies for renewable energy generation and ending subsidies for energy efficiency in homes.

He said: ‘The United Kingdom’s historic legacy of leadership on the most important moral issues faced by humanity, including the climate crisis, is long and has been recognised with respect by the community of nations.

‘It is time for the UK government to honour and live up to that legacy, and return to its global leadership position, domestically and abroad, by supporting an ambitious international agreement in Paris that unleashes the power of the private sector to create a global clean energy economy.’

Also speaking at the event, Cridland said that the government’s policies are creating uncertainty for business.

He said: ‘It is important to say that over many years, the UK has built up real credibility on climate leadership and low-carbon investment. This is hard won, but easily lost. 

‘And despite the progress so far, today’s investors are more uncertain about the UK’s low-carbon future. 

‘From the roll-back of renewables to the mixed messages on energy efficiency, these changes send a worrying signal about the UK as a place for low-carbon investment.’

He said that the impression of weakened commitment risks the UK’s standing on the global stage ‘at the exact moment we need to stand up and be counted’.

Cridland stated that 164 countries now had renewable energy targets, providing potential markets for the UK’s renewable industry.

‘We’re already seeing British firms seizing these global opportunities – like Fosters designing the zero-carbon ‘Masdar city’ in Abu Dhabi or Blade Dynamics designing and exporting the world’s most advanced wind turbine technology,’ he said.

Foster + Partners - Masdar

Source: Nigel Young

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