Investors ask George Osborne for clearer renewable energy policy



A group of high-profile investors has called on George Osborne to address the lack of a 2030 decarbonisation target in the energy bill, which they say is blocking clean energy projects and discouraging investment.

The letter, signed by Aviva Investors, Triodos Bank and WHEB Partners among others, asks the chancellor to include a “meaningful” target in the legislation, as the Conservative party conference takes place in Manchester.

The signatories argue that the target is essential to give investors the confidence and safety to put capital into low-carbon projects. The lack of a carbon target is stalling investment and preventing green growth, as well as the creation of jobs in the clean technologies sector.

Steve Waygood, chief responsible investment officer at Aviva Investors, said, “As investors, we acknowledge that climate change represents a significant threat to global GDP and consequently the value of the assets we manage.

“We are increasingly factoring climate change risks into the decisions we make, but the confusion over medium-term energy policy is a significant impediment. We call on the chancellor to support legally binding decarbonisation targets, which will benefit all stakeholders in the investment chain.”

Last year during the party’s conference, over 50 businesses asked the chancellor for a decarbonisation target for the power sector.

Simon Howard, chief executive of UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association (UKSIF), said, “The continued investor support for a 2030 decarbonisation target highlights the significant appetite for the UK to lead the world in low-carbon energy solutions and to ensure security of supply.

Both investors and businesses are looking for a clear commitment from government to further boost investment in an area which provides exceptional opportunities for long-term growth”.

The letter comes after Osborne said he doesn’t want the UK to take the lead in fighting climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned in its latest report that current greenhouse gas emissions have to be tackled down if we want to avoid a warming higher than 2C by the end of the century.

Further reading:

George Osborne: UK should not lead climate change fight

UK told to keep up with fellow competitors in ‘global green race’

UK is fourth most attractive country for renewable energy investment

Attention turns to Lords as Commons votes down energy bill decarbonisation target

Clean energy can save UK £45bn and slash emissions, says climate watchdog


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