12 May 2017
In January 2017 the UK Government launched a consultation on its “Building our Industrial Strategy” green paper. The consultation period saw significant political change with the triggering of Article 50 and a call for a general election. These political events delayed the publication of the Government’s Emission Reduction Plan which was due to set out the response to the Committee on Climate Change’s 2016 report that found that current government policies are inadequate to meet the emission reduction targets set into UK law through the 4th and 5th Carbon Budgets. This report sets out our response to the UK industrial strategy. We focus on three key recommendations that put the emission reduction targets at the heart of UK industrial strategy and hope to take advantage of the opportunity for constructive change at times of political upheaval. Our recommendations are: (1) that energy prices should remain high in order to encourage demand-side change and that other fiscal instruments should be used to compensate energy users to avoid carbon leakage and fuel poverty; (2) that government support should be focussed on supply chains rather than sectors to put more emphasis on meeting core consumer demands – e.g. for comfort, mobility and enjoyment – rather than on delivering intermediate products; and (3) that there should be a wider form of participation in government policy to ensure that the Government is better placed to respond proactively to fleeting opportunities for change.