Home truths on regulation

Noel Morrin must be the only person outside the Government’s Deregulation Unit who believes that EIC’s line is `bunkum’ in arguing that regulation creates a home market to export environmental technology and service companies into the growing world markets (20 March). EIC can cite all the recent surveys of our industry and customers in mainstream […]

Noel Morrin must be the only person outside the Government’s Deregulation Unit who believes that EIC’s line is `bunkum’ in arguing that regulation creates a home market to export environmental technology and service companies into the growing world markets (20 March).

EIC can cite all the recent surveys of our industry and customers in mainstream industry which show that 90% of purchases are regulation inspired. In its report Cleaner Technology, the Government’s advisory committee said `the competitive status of the UK’s environmental protection industry is dependent on the requirements and implementation of domestic regulation’.

In 1994, the House of Commons Trade and Industry Select Committee’s report, Competitiveness on UK Manufacturing Industry, found that `high environmental standards can promote the development of UK suppliers and UK technology. The Government should consider ways in which new markets and new technology can be developed in the UK through environmental regulation’.

The OECD concluded that environmental regulation in Germany `created demand for abatement technologies, clean production technologies and environmental consulting services, as well as spurring environment-related R&D. Germany has witnessed the emergence of a new environment industry, it is also a successful exporter with 40% of its production volume on foreign markets’.

The OECD concludes that `Japan’s experience in the past 20 years has shown that its very ambitious pollution control programme did not adversely affect its economy, and that environmental policies and economic growth policies cannot only be compatible but indeed mutually compatible’.

The UK needs a progressive regulatory regime to help British companies win a larger share of the $400bn world market and to stimulate mainstream British industry to be more resource efficient and internationally competitive itself.

{{Adrian WilkesdirectorThe Environmental Industries Commission}}