This post was first published by Business Green.
The UK steel industry has suffered from decades of decline, with production dropping by nearly two thirds since 1970; 2015 was a particularly difficult year, and one from which the industry has yet to recover. A glut of steel on the international market – nearly half of it coming from China – sent prices plummeting and resulted in nearly 7,000 job losses to the already beleaguered UK steel industry.
George Osborne gave Philip Hammond what is known in sport as a hospital pass: an economic plan based on the UK returning to pre-2008 productivity growth of two per cent per annum without the investment or strategy to make it happen. The Office of Budget Responsibility’s figures show we actually got paltry productivity growth of 0.2 per cent growth in 2016 and the forecast for 2017 is 0.0 per cent. Read more
In 2014, Dunlop Systems and Components relocated from a leaky old factory in Holbrook to a highly efficient new factory in 2014. At the same time the company fundamentally redesigned the high pressure steam processes used in making its air suspension components, saving the business 67 per cent on energy and 38 per cent on water use. This strategic approach to resource efficiency turned around a failing company to become a thriving domestic and export business providing high quality jobs in Coventry.
Not all of the ten ‘pillars’ of the industrial strategy green paper will make it into the white paper expected by the end of this year. Civil servants working on the final strategy say the innovation, skills, place, business and infrastructure pillars are the ones likely to remain and the content of the affordable energy and clean growth pillar will be embedded across the strategy. If that can be done well it will better than having a standalone chapter, but if it is done badly, it will be a disaster for the UK’s low carbon transition.
This post first appeared on BusinessGreen.
The government’s Industrial Strategy consultation closed on Easter Monday. But before we had chance to draw breath, a snap election was called, moving the political agenda on again. Read more
This post is by Professor Paul Ekins OBE, director of the UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources, University College London.
There are many reasons to increase resource efficiency in an economy like the UK’s. Among them are the need to reduce pressure on natural resources in a world with growing populations and economies; to reduce the vulnerability to imported material’s supply shocks and price volatility; and to avoid the environmental impacts of natural resource extraction, even where they occur outside the UK. Read more
This post is by Paul Nowak, deputy general secretary of the TUC.
Climate change is the biggest challenge facing the planet. But, for many working people, it can seem a remote issue; one not directly related to their everyday lives. That’s why the TUC is keen to draw the links between tackling climate change and some of the other major themes of our campaign work: rebalancing our economy; investing in the UK’s physical and social infrastructure; and ensuring working people are not asked to pay the price for Brexit.
This post is by Carolyn Fairbairn, director general of the CBI.
Technology is changing the world around us at an unprecedented rate. The Internet of Things, the sharing economy, 5G and autonomous vehicles will all change the way we live and work. At the same time, Brexit is going to have a profound impact on our politics and the way the UK works and trades with Europe and the rest of the world.
This post is by Baroness Brown of Cambridge DBE FREng, chair of the Committee on Climate Change’s Adaptation Sub-Committee. It is written in a personal capacity.
We are approaching a climate change tipping point, one that I am eagerly awaiting. With all of the political changes going on in the UK and around the world, I just hope this one doesn’t get delayed. Read more
This post is by Jenny Bird, Dr Florian Kern, Dr Paula Kivimaa and Dr Karoline Rogge from the Centre on Innovation and Energy Demand.
Prior to the era of Donald Trump, tweeting was an unusual way to make a government announcement. But a tweet from the UK team at the 2014 UN climate summit in New York declared David Cameron’s intention to “phase out existing coal over the next 10-15 years”. Read more