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Lord Deben: AD industry has chance to take lead on policy

lord deben adba national conference

The anaerobic digestion (AD) industry can influence ministers across Government if it uses the right language, a senior politician has said.

Former environment secretary Lord Deben, now chair of the Committee on Climate Change, said the Government was “desperate” for policies and the industry had a “wonderful story to tell”.

Addressing delegates at the Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Association (ADBA) national conference in Westminster today, Deben said it was critical for AD firms to grasp their opportunity by communicating clearly.

“It is important for the industry to present itself in terms understood by the public,” he said. “AD sounds uncomfortable and it sounds complex.”

Deben said the basic principle of communication was “to use language the hearer understands”.

“We should be much better at explaining why AD is central to a series of aims society sees as important.”

He said there was a chance for AD firms to push their case for Government support.

“AD is known by parts of Beis [the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy] and bits of Defra, but elsewhere not many get that it is central to policies to decrease our carbon footprint, improve soil fertility and the battle against waste, which is going to be a central concern. AD has a wonderful story to tell.”

Ongoing Brexit negotiations gave the sector a great chance to make itself heard, he insisted.

“Governments are always desperate for ready-formed policies and this Government more so than any other I can remember. That is a statement about Brexit, which is the most damaging thing Britain has ever done to itself.”

Preparing to leave the EU was dominating politicians’ time, Deben said: “It preoccupies ministers and civil servants to the exclusion of things we should be doing.” 

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