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Paper industry at danger from green laws, says CPI

Economic growth and one million manufacturing jobs will be at risk if the Government indiscriminately applies environmental legislation, the confederation of paper industries (CPI) has claimed.

The CPI director general David Workman is calling on ministers to put in place a number of measures to safeguard the paper industry and other energy intensive industries (EII) from green legislation.

He has produced a briefing (right) that has been sent to all 650 MPs outlining the key issues.

Workman said the combined effect of the environmental measures being introduced have the potential to “seriously damage” the competitiveness of the paper industry and other EII.

Legislation coming from central and European government was not tailored to specific industries and had unforeseen and unwanted consequences, he warned.

He said the carbon price floor, which was specific to the UK, could encourage businesses to relocate outside of the UK – damaging the economy and not having the intended effect of reducing carbon emissions.

The EU has already highlighted a number of industries, including paper, at risk from so-called ‘carbon leakage’. The CPI wants to see these industries let-off the tax.

Workman added that there was concern among EIIs on the UK targets on the use of renewable energy, which it is estimated will cost around £200bn to implement. EIIs are worried they will be asked to foot the bill.

He said: “The point we are trying to make is that it’s the cumulative effect of all these measures, which will make not only the paper industry, but also other energy intensive industries, uncompetitive in the future. Particularly as some of these measures are UK specific that will increase our costs.

“We are hoping the Chancellor in his autumn statement in November will announce some measure that will alleviate these cost pressures.

“A lot of the EIIs have declined but we still have around one million which are indirectly or directly associated with them. It is these industries that are the backbone of manufacturing in the UK.”

Another measure put forward by Workman is a UK strategy to ensure paper and board is recovered for recycling and not for EfW. He said only fibres that genuinely could not be recycled into paper products should go to EfW. He added that this issue also needed to be addressed internationally to ensure paper supply.

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