Waste firms are among a host of organisations calling on the Chancellor to provide energy investors with more certainty as the Conservative party conference gets under way.
In a letter to George Osborne organised by the Aldersgate Group sustainable business lobby, firms including Biffa and Veolia warned that without a 2030 carbon target for the energy sector, the UK risks £110bn investment.
Peter Young, chairman of Aldersgate said: “The message of this letter is loud and clear: we must put an end to any political uncertainty surrounding the UK’s energy future and start unleashing the billions of pounds of overdue investment which will deliver new growth for our economy.”
The firms, which also include EDF, BT and Marks and Spencer, said ministers should back the 2030 target to decarbonise the energy market recommended by the Government’s independent Committee on Climate Change.
The letter said the Government’s commitment to low carbon transition was “being undermined by recent statements calling for unabated gas in the power sector beyond 2030 and the absence of a specific carbon intensity target”.
According to CBI analysis, the letter said, “although a third of the UK’s economic growth in 2011/12 is likely to have come from green businesses – current policy uncertainty could result in the UK losing almost £400m in net exports in 2014/15 alone”.
The letter received support from the Renewable Energy Association. Its chief executive Gaynor Hartnell said: “It is now or never for the Coalition Government. We have the resource potential and engineering and financial expertise to be a global leader in renewables – but a lack of clarity from Government risks leaving us stuck at the back of the pack.”