Watch the webinar
- Rain Newton-Smith, Chief Economist, CBI
- Caroline Bain, Chief Commodities Economist, Capital Economics
- Mark Wilson, Health, Safety and Environment Director, Offshore Energies
- Ceri Thomas, Editor and Partner, Tortoise Media (Chair)
In this session:
- The CBI has been working with Ukrainian ambassador on coordinating donations and considering how businesses can support refugees and employment opportunities.
- Firms have also been implementing sanctions and directing businesses on how they can get further information. Divesting away completely from Russia is complicated: businesses will have a duty of care for employees in Russia, and others are supplying medical products and other essential items.
- What does it mean for UK economy? Energy prices and commodities are going up - we're a globally interlinked economy - Ukraine and Russia big exporter of fertiliser, sunflower oil, and other commodities.
- What does it mean for individual households in the UK? Cost of living will remain a big issue this year.
- Looking ahead to the Spring Statement, the CBI is continuing our messaging on growth. Heard promising words from the Chancellor during this Mais Lecture around driving long-term growth and productivity. Time to be bold not cautious.
- When it comes to business resilience right now: firms should think about their cash reserves, and don’t re-treat from investment plans - continue to take a long-term view
- Commodity prices - energy prices are high, and most commodity production is quite energy intensive, so production costs have also risen in that regard.
- For example, nickel market re-opened this morning after being closed for several days - and it's down quite sharply. It's an example of the volatility we're seeing.
- Europe has always been aware of risks and exposure but continues to be huge uncertainty about the supply of many commodities this year.
- Still reliant on oil and gas in the near-term.
- Tired of using the word unprecedented – but there are few parallels to draw on. We already had severe supply chain issues because of the pandemic.
- The one parallel is that oil price shocks in 1970s - stayed high after the shocks. Likely to be the case here - not a short, sharp shock.
- Global energy perspective - lots of discussion around supply and demand. Sector has also been looking at how we increase production and balancing that with medium/long term aspiration of renewables.
- Key that we should accelerate investment in renewables (£16bn needed) - hydrogen, CSS, electrification, offshore and floating wind - still very much focused on net-zero. But simply cannot turn oil and gas off overnight.
- Renewables can be a commodity produced in the UK and increase our resilience.
- Right now, it’s important that Chancellor works to generate investor confidence so we can move into renewables and keep moving forward on the decarbonisation transition and maintain competitiveness.