The Prime Minister has been urged to build on the strength of the ‘green’ economy to boost growth and improve environmental performance.
The call came from the Resource Association (RA), which wants David Cameron to adapt his ‘blue-collar’ Conservatism into ‘green-collar’ Conservatism.
The association’s chief executive Ray Georgeson, left, told its annual meeting in London: “The Prime Minister turned heads with his statement at the first Cabinet meeting of the new Government about embracing blue-collar Conservatism.
“We urge him to take this a stage further and rediscover his former zeal for environmental matters, but much more than simply environment, to turn his attention to green economic matters as well and turn his vision into one that we can call ‘green-collar Conservatism’.”
Georgeson said the resources sector had a proud record of marrying economic growth with environmental performance and there was the potential to do much more with strong leadership and vision from Whitehall.
“No longer are our issues the exclusive preserve of environmentalists - the green economy has consistently outperformed other parts of the economy on GDP increase and job creation,” he said.
Georgeson hoped the new teams of ministers and secretaries of state at Defra and in the communities and business departments would listen to the RA’s call for a “clear and ambitious strategy for resources and the circular economy”.
He added: “The opportunities are there, the prizes are great and we stand ready to respond with energy and investment to deliver much more ambitious resources and circular economy strategies if the Government is brave enough to lead the way.”
The meeting also saw the confirmation in post of interim chairman Peter Clayson.
Clayson said: “With a new Government, political developments in Scotland and of course a likely EU referendum we will need all the leadership we can get from Government to guide our industry forward. We want to play our part is shaping our own future policy agenda and will remain fully engaged on all fronts.”
Simon Walker of UPM and Paul Vanston of the Kent Resource Partnership were re-elected to the RA board, with Mandy Kelly of Palm and Paul Smith of Coca-Cola Enterprises joining for the first time. Eric Randall of Bryson Recycling and Chris Dow of Euro Closed Loop Recycling stepped down.