Powering the UK’s low-carbon future

Powering the UK’s low-carbon future

Climate change demands urgent action: business must lead the way

Climate change is a global issue and, though business is focused on reducing its environmental impact, there is only so much firms can do alone. Business and government must work together - enabling low-carbon solutions to change the way we work, travel and power the economy.

The change we're calling for

Driving this fundamental and societal change requires immediate action and long-term policy support from government. By working together, business and government can unleash the potential of low-carbon power; support the switch to low-emission vehicles; and develop low-carbon solutions for heating. We’re calling on the government to put policies in place that enable business to reduce emissions further.

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    Develop policies to support low-carbon power, including ending the block on onshore wind, financing nuclear power and developing carbon capture technology

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    Encourage the uptake of low-emission vehicles by building the charging infrastructure and creating incentives for consumers

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    Develop a long-term strategy for low-carbon heating of buildings and improving energy efficiency

Why it's needed

To avoid the most devastating effects of climate change, the UK has set ambitious emissions targets which business and government must work together on to achieve.

Though the UK’s power sector is now 50% renewables and nuclear, more progress can and will be made. Without a lift on the block on onshore wind – the cheapest of all energy sources – and a clear financing strategy for nuclear projects, business is prevented from taking the next steps.

There is also not yet the economy of scale to make it easy for businesses to switch to low emission vehicles. The government must work with industry to create the right charging infrastructure and develop incentives, like grants, to encourage the mass consumer switch.

Additionally, if businesses are expected to heat their buildings in a more energy efficient way, long-term strategic clarity is needed from government.

These policies must be developed now if business is to make a significant difference in time.

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"Our energy system is going through profound change at the moment. Industry needs to work with government so we can continue to invest with confidence as we move to a low-carbon economy, where our energy comes from a wide range of sources and businesses and households are in more control of the energy they use."

Carl Ennis, Managing Director, Energy Management, Siemens PLC

Lower carbon means better business

The vast growth potential of renewables

Renewable alternatives are great for the planet - and phenomenal for business and our economy too. Low-carbon solutions can drive significant economic growth, export opportunities and national cost savings.

  • The UK low-carbon economy could grow by an estimated 11% per year between 2015 and 2030 – 4 times faster than the rest of the economy

  • Low-carbon products could deliver between £60 billion and £170 billion in exports by 2030

  • A smart, more local and flexible grid with cheaper storage could save £8bn and keep energy requirements down

Our progress and impact

The CBI campaigns tirelessly on behalf of our members so that business creates prosperity for all. Learn more about the work we do and the impact we are making on this issue.

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Support the change

  1. Are you a business leader?

    Join the CBI

    Our members are our mandate, and the reason we’re the most influential business organisation in the UK. Join the voice of business, and help us campaign to ensure the government hits the new net-zero emissions target.

    Find out more
  2. Are you a CBI member?

    Have your say

    Could your business feel the impact of new emissions regulation? Are you striving to meet the net-zero target? Share your story and help shape a low-carbon future.

    Get involved
  3. Are you a policymaker?

    Make a difference

    This campaign is led by the CBI's Infrastructure and Energy team.

    Contact Tom Thackray, Director of Infrastructure and Energy, to find out about the change UK business urgently needs to reach a low-carbon future and how you can support it.

    Contact us