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Suez calls for ‘clarity’ following cabinet reshuffle

David Palmer-Jones, chief executive of SITA UK

Suez’s recycling and recovery division chief executive David Palmer-Jones has called for “clear long-term guidance” from Whitehall, in response to the creation of a new energy and business department.

Prime minister Theresa May, who took up residency at Number 10 on Wednesday, appointed former energy minister Andrea Leadsom to head up Defra as part of a far-reaching cabinet reshuffle.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills have been merged to become the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

Former communities secretary Greg Clark has been appointed to lead the new department.

Palmer-Jones said he welcomed the rationalisation of Government departments as part of efforts to instigate ”more joined up, long-term strategic policy planning”.

He added: “Businesses like ours need clear long-term policy guidance from Whitehall so we can continue to plan and invest in infrastructure to help address the country’s rapidly impending energy supply gap as we wean ourselves off fossil fuels.

“All of the UK’s devolved administrations will be looking for clarity and certainty of process over the UK’s negotiations with Europe over its long-term relationship with the EU. During that period of transition the waste and resources sector continues to seek vision and leadership from Whitehall as well as the industry getting its due.”

Palmer-Jones added that Suez would be “working closely with each local authority and with all businesses” during the negotiations for the UK to leave the EU.

James Court, head of policy and external affairs for the Renewable Energy Association, said: “We are delighted Greg Clark has been appointed the new secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy. He previously showed real vision as the shadow energy secretary and we look forward to working with him once again in order to get things moving on the deployment of new renewable energy infrastructure.”

Julie Hirigoyen, chief executive of the UK Green Building Council, said: “The newly created BEIS represents a golden opportunity to put sustainable business at the heart of jobs and prosperity. We warmly welcome the appointment of Greg Clark as its secretary of state. As a priority he needs to provide reassurance to businesses so they can invest with confidence in a low carbon future.

“However, the loss of a dedicated climate change department has the potential to send the wrong signal to the international community. The Government needs to reconfirm its commitment to the Paris Agreement at the earliest opportunity.”

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