CBI Climate Change Summit 2010

UK must do more on climate change, says CBI: Confederation of British Industry hosts annual Climate Change Summit

With the global market for low-carbon goods and services expected to be worth around GBP£4 trillion by 2015, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) need to act now to develop products and services, as well as taking steps to improve energy efficiency.

This was the underlying message at the CBI Climate Change Summit 2010 which took place last week (18 November) in London. The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) is the main lobbying organisation for UK business on national and international issues.

The summit explored how moving to a low-carbon economy can foster economic growth across all sectors from farming to accounting and how uncertainty leading from the lack of a global climate change agreement should not be a hindrance to the efforts made by the UK to its commitment to cut emissions by 80 per cent in 2050.

The day also featured a head-to-head debate between Lord Lawson, chairman of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, and Sir David King, director of the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, and former chief scientific adviser to the British government.

The head of the CBI, director-general Richard Lambert, expressed his disappointment with the lack of advances on issues of climate change for UK businesses. He said the environment had slipped down the agenda due to the recession, the change of government, and therefore the change in policy and the slow take up of the agenda by consumers.

“Perhaps most worrying of all, the needle on the dial of consumer behaviour has scarcely shifted at all over the three year period, either in the UK or internationally.”

There were some positives, however, he said. Emerging economies have become more engaged in the global conversation and there have been gas technological breakthroughs.

Other speakers included Irwin Lee, vice president & general manager, Procter & Gamble UK & Ireland, and Mark Elborne, president & chief executive officer, GE, UK, Ireland & Benelux.

Videos of speeches and presentations are now available.