CBI joins the calls for a green economic recovery

The Confederation of British Industry has become the latest organisation to join the calls for a green recovery in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a letter to the Prime Minister, CBI director-general, Dame Carolyn Fairbairn, outlined a three-point plan to recovery, all of which had sustainability at their heart. She called for a national programme to make every home a green home, starting with social housing; bringing forward funds committed to green infrastructure, like electric vehicle charging points; and accelerating the gigabit broadband roll-out in all parts of the country including rural areas.

In addition, Job Centres should be transformed into new Job & Skills Hubs to help create dynamic, local labour markets. Also, a future skills fund should be established to support areas with high job potential such as digital, low carbon and health.

Finally, among the measures required to kick-start consuner demand  and unleash competitiveness she proposed a time-limited scrappage scheme to incentivise the take up of electric vehicles.

“Amidst all the uncertainty, one thing is clear: the UK will only build back fast and better through a market-driven plan that supports sustainable growth,” Fairbairn stated. “Dynamic enterprise is the only way to unleash the potential of our country and get ahead.

“Time is of the essence. Smart, fast policy is needed now to accelerate the process to minimise the human cost and in particular protect the futures of our young people. Together with our members and in consultation with the unions, the CBI has developed simple, implementable proposals that can be acted on now to create the best possible recovery.”

• The letter comes as a report is published stating that improving the energy efficiency of homes in the UK should be a priority for the Government as it will create a swathe of badly needed jobs and help the UK meet its carbon targets, a report suggests.

With greenhouse gas emissions dipping significantly during the lockdown, the Prime Minister has said he wants the UK to “entrench those gains” as the lockdown lifts, by prioritising investment in low-carbon infrastructure.

The study from the Energy Efficiency Infrastructure Group (EEIG) claims that home improvements such as insulation can save households around £500 a year.

The UK’s housing stock represents 20 per cent of emissions and the current pace of decarbonisation is not yet on track for 2050.

In addition, the EEIG said that many energy efficiency improvements can be started immediately as they meet the Covid-19 health and safety guidelines.

The report finds that a mass programme of home improvements could support over 150,000 skilled and semi-skilled jobs by 2030, while reducing household energy expenditure by £7.5bn per year at today’s prices.

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