Reacting to the Government’s announcements on its updated climate and energy strategies, Alex Veitch, Director of Policy at the BCC, said:
“The government has grasped the scale of the climate challenge with a wide-ranging plan to boost green energy production.
“Policies the Chamber Network have campaigned for have been brought into play; amending planning rules to make it easier to develop renewable energy; boosting British nuclear power; upgrading our electricity grid; unlocking private investment for Net Zero and a £10 billion boost for Export Finance to support the UK’s burgeoning green export trade.
“But there is a gap around business energy use. To meet the UK’s ambitious 15% energy efficiency target, firms will need to install vital measures such as insulation, energy management systems and renewables.
“Many smaller firms will struggle with the capital costs, so support should be provided where necessary, as has been pledged for households.
“There also appears to be a mismatch between good ideas, such as UK-wide insulation, heat pumps and electric vehicle charging points, and the availability of a skilled workforce to make them happen.
“Alongside the investment in infrastructure and manufacturing must come further investment and policy changes in training to make these plans a reality.
“Allowing apprenticeship levy funds to be used for all forms of accredited workplace training would be a simple step to help deliver the green jobs needed for Net Zero.
“The Government has taken a big step forward with these announcements, but it now needs to plug the gaps in its strategy to ensure it does not lose momentum in the years ahead.”