Blair told to deliver

Energy analysts have called upon the UK’s Prime Minister to put his promises over climate change into action, after it was announced this week that the UK will miss its domestic target of cutting CO2 emissions by 20% by 2010.


Energy analysts have called upon Prime Minister Tony Blair to put his promises over climate change into action, after it was announced this week that the UK will miss its domestic target of cutting CO2 emissions by 20% by 2010.



International energy consultancy, McKinnon & Clarke, has criticised the Government for doing little to put pressure on the commercial sector to reduce energy consumption and increase efficiency.



Callum F Stuart, International Business Manager of McKinnon & Clarke’s Energy Services Division, explained: “Even as energy prices have risen over the last year, the reaction from industry has been to become more shrewd in purchasing of their utilities. This reduces their overall energy costs but does not address the real issues resulting from excessive consumption of energy – the emissions it produces.



“The Government needs to take drastic steps to curb emissions in order to get back on target. By introducing free energy surveys, the Government is being seen to provide opportunities to cut back on consumption to industry, but of what value are these surveys if there is no pressure to implement the recommendations made?”



Although 80% of the Financial Times Global 500 companies now explicitly acknowledge the importance of climate change as a business risk, McKinnon & Clarke claims that the focus for many has been on negotiating their emissions targets rather than addressing the real issue of reducing pollution levels through moderation of consumption.



Stuart continued: “What industry has been slow to realise is that there are real financial benefits to be had by reducing consumption levels and many businesses could also significantly reduce their emissions at the same time. The presumption that there has to be a big outlay in order to do this is common, but this is often not the case. Industry could save money by tackling energy wastage, while at the same time help to reduce the threat of climate change.”



Businesses may be aware that they are eligible for discounts under the Climate Change Levy – financial incentives for UK businesses to use fossil fuels more efficiently – but the complexity of the system can be confusing and the paperwork in achieving eligibility for the rebate can be time consuming.