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Paper industry calls for ‘more carrot, less stick’ in energy policy

Leaders of the paper sector have called for ‘more carrot, less stick’ for businesses in European and UK energy legislation.

Policy based on security of supply and competitive pricing globally has been outlined as a priority by the Confederation of Paper Industries (CPI) in its annual review.

Industries that produce high carbon emissions, such as paper, in are at risk of losing a foothold in the market if UK and EU legislation requires them to pay higher carbon rates, the CPI review says.

David Workman

Director general David Workman, left, said: “Cumulative direct and indirect costs associated with all government energy, climate change and environmental legislation, are still too high for UK manufacturers to be truly internationally competitive.

“The success of our industry in reducing its own emissions may only put our ‘at risk of carbon leakage’ status in jeopardy – something that we cannot allow to happen.”

While the CPI supported efforts to reach climate change targets, it said that amitious innovations used to achieve these must be commercially viable.

Workman added: “The emphasis in policy needs to be placed on encouraging energy efficiency within known technological boundaries – more ’carrot‘, less ’stick’.”

The CPI said regulators were as important as legislators following the devolution of powers in areas including waste, environmental compliance and water.

“There is now a Paper Industry Plan which should improve communications and ensure a more consistent and, hopefully, lighter touch to the enforcement of regulations,” wrote Workman.

As reported by MRW, CPI released its Manifesto for a Flourishing Paper Industry in January, which called for a ban on the incineration of recyclate and for reform of the UK’s relationship with the EU.

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