Spring Statement: Building Sustainability Into The Heart Of Economic Model

Putting environmental concerns at the heart of taxation policy is the right strategy to create a sustainable economy, according to Suez’s David Palmer Jones, following the Chancellor’s Spring statement, in which he spoke of the need to “build sustainability into the heart of our economic model”.

The Budget 2018 set out how the government aims to accelerate the shift to a clean economy, building on the Industrial Strategy, Clean Growth Strategy, and 25 Year Environment Plan. The Chancellor’sSpring Statement set out to build on this commitment by aiming to help smaller businesses reduce their energy bills and carbon emissions.

Among the measures announced, the government is launching a call for evidence on a Business energy efficiency scheme to explore how it can support investment in energy efficiency measures.

The government also said it will advance the decarbonisation of gas supplies by increasing the proportion of green gas in the grid, aiming to help reduce dependence on burning natural gas in homes and businesses.

David Palmer-Jones – “The Chancellor’s efforts to improve biodiversity are all linked to an increasingly joined up strategy, across government departments, to introduce regulations that incentivise businesses and consumers to move towards a more sustainable economy”

Responding to this, Charlotte Morton, Chief Executive of the Anaerobic Digestion & Bioresources Association, said: The UK’s green gas industry strongly welcomes the government’s commitment to increasing the proportion of green gas in the grid in order to decarbonise the UK’s heat supply, and we look forward to more detail on this in the promised consultation as soon as possible.

“As the Chancellor rightly said in his statement, we need to reduce our dependence on burning natural gas for heating our homes in order to meet our climate targets, and the only way we can do this whilst making use of the existing gas grid is to increase the amount of green gas in the grid.

“The UK’s anaerobic digestion (AD) industry stands ready to produce this green gas from the millions of tonnes of organic wastes currently going to incineration or landfill or being left to rot – but the industry needs a favourable policy environment from government to help it to deliver this.”

Government also announced it has published a consultation on Infrastructure Finance, seeking views on how the government can best support private infrastructure investment in the context of the UK’s changing relationship with the European Investment Bank.

Conserving Natural Resources

David Palmer-Jones, CEO of Suez Recycling and Recovery UK said putting environmental concerns at the heart of taxation policy is the right strategy if we are to create a sustainable economy which lasts not just a few parliamentary cycles, but into the lifetimes of our grandchildren.

“The Chancellor’s efforts to improve biodiversity are all linked to an increasingly joined up strategy, across government departments, to introduce regulations that incentivise businesses and consumers to move towards a more sustainable economy, he said.

“The latest moves from Treasury are all linked to the government’s desire to place Britain among the world leaders for sustainability and eradicating waste.

FCC – “It’s “disappointing” that there appears to be a “disconnect” between the strategic direction outlined in the recently published Resources and Waste Strategy”

“Revenues raised to tackle environmental issues should be used to enable further investment towards the infrastructure needed to underpin a circular economy, and address among other matters single use plastics, waste and litter.

“The efforts to tackle biodiversity follow on from Treasury’s consultation to tackle single use plastics, via a tax on virgin plastics, and other live consultations from Defra which include radical proposals to introduce new, coordinated, waste management systems in the UK paid for by manufacturers’ producer responsibility schemes.

“Treasury is right to use the taxation system to help change the way we produce and consume products and packaging, helping us to recycle as much as possible and to reduce the impact of waste on the natural environment.”

Disconnect

Responding to the Chancellor’s Spring Statement, Paul Taylor, FCC Environment Chief Executive, said it’s “disappointing” that there appears to be a “disconnect” between the strategic direction outlined in the recently published Resources and Waste Strategy, and the environmental priorities set out by the Chancellor in his Spring Statement, which made no mention of the importance of meeting waste and recycling targets.

“We have seen far reaching and bold ambition from Government in the Resources and Waste Strategy, but if we are to fulfil our ambition to be the most resource efficient country in the world, we need to act now to set out, in statute, a waste policy framework that’s fit for the future,” he said.

“We will be responding to the Government’s recently published consultations, including those on extending producer responsibility and standardising recycling collections, and look forward to continuing to work with Government on future industry consultations.”


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