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24 September 2015

  |  CBI Updates Team


Supporting energy-intensive industries in the low-carbon transition

Energy intensive industries underpin the transition to the low-carbon economy. With the Comprehensive Spending Review on the horizon, the government must continue to support their global competitiveness 

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In just a couple of months, world leaders will come together in Paris to agree a global deal to cut emissions and move to a low-carbon economy. In a world where we use less energy, and generate more from low-carbon sources, energy-intensive industries will be crucial: providing the glass and mineral products that will make our buildings more efficient, the foundations for wind turbines, and the materials for light transport.

However, the cost of energy continues to constrain the growth of energy-intensive industries on which the wider economy relies. The latest figures from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) put electricity prices for the largest users at around 60% over the EU average. This undermines the competitiveness of UK industry, risking more closures and more imports, as well as hampering broader economic growth.

The CBI welcomed the actions taken in the last Parliament to freeze the Carbon Price Floor and provide support to industry by compensating for many of the indirect costs they face. The CBI’s submission to the Comprehensive Spending Review therefore emphasises the importance of maintaining these compensation packages in this parliament in order to continue to address this challenge.

The submission also encouraged the government to work with industry to pursue a long-term strategy for energy-intensive industries. To this end, work on sectoral decarbonisation roadmaps out to 2050 is welcome, and should be taken forward with a view to capturing the economic value of the low-carbon transition while maintaining a competitive low-carbon industrial base.

For more information, please contact Barnaby Wharton (

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