Cast your mind back to 2012 when George Osborne claimed that should his party be elected, the Treasury would “become a green ally not a foe” and championed the efforts toward cultivating a greener economy. This is in stark contrast to the implementation of a tax on renewable energy that he announced during the latest budget speech so it comes as no surprise that many pro-green groups are taking a stand.
The Trillion Fund halts green funding
The government’s new policies have made the cost of energy much higher for those in the UK than their European competitors which is one of the main consequential factors that these pro-green groups take issue with. Earlier this month popular green crowdfunding scheme, the Trillion Fund announced that it would no longer be lending cash to renewable energy projects on account of the recent policy changes.
Former chief executive of the group, Julia Groves will be stepping down from her position in the process. She said: “UK renewable energy projects have been our primary focus to date, but recent changes in government policy have rocked investor confidence and made the landscape for future renewable energy projects very uncertain.
“As a result we have decided that, with regret, we will not be able to offer any new renewable energy loans for the foreseeable future.
“In these uncertain times, the company will instead focus on offering technology and crowdfunding services to other businesses across all sectors.”
This comes as part of a wider effort to cut subsidies on wind and solar schemes, which includes a series of moves by ministers to target large solar installations that has inspired other pro-green groups to take action.
EEF urges the government to cut green taxes
Following the Trillion Fund’s halting of its green loans, leading UK-based employer’s group, EEF has issued a number of calls in a report entitled The Low Carbon Economy – From Stick to Carrot. In the document it urges the government to put an end to the carbon price floor which requires polluters to pay a minimum on the right to emit carbon, and the carbon reduction commitment which imposes penalties on those companies not becoming more energy efficient.
The group expresses concern about the UK’s “bewildering” mix of energy efficiency projects and taxes that have cause energy costs and red tape to increase without much improvement on emissions. EEF also believes that ministers should be distancing themselves from green taxes which penalise the country’s businesses and instead look towards tax incentives in the plight to reduce CO2.
Paul Raynes, director of policy said: “The current system of energy taxation is too complex and is hurting Britain’s competitiveness. So instead of simply hitting firms with the big stick of ever-higher carbon taxes and levies, we should be offering them the carrot of tax breaks to invest in advanced low carbon technologies.
“Government should use the energy taxation reviews as an opportunity to step back, and make some bold decisions that we believe can reduce energy costs as well as cutting back on carbon emissions and improving the environment.”
5 quick tips to make your business greener
Reduce paper usage – Completely avoiding the use of paper is an unrealistic target to set yourself and your employees but modern technology and the internet does mean we can drastically reduce it. For example, use email rather than print medium when sending clients reminders and newsletters.
Get your staff moving – Encourage your members of staff to walk, cycle or use public transport to get to work in order to help cut down on environmental pollution and boost physical wellbeing in the process. Implement an incentive scheme to motivate them to do so such as a green employee of the month and don’t forget to practice what you preach too!
Cut down on utilities – Measure your business’ carbon footprint by evaluating your utility bills and picking up on where you could afford to cut down on things like gas and electricity. Make a conscious effort to turn lights off in unused rooms and not waste heating during the warmer months.
Recycle religiously – As well as recycling paper, plastic and glass, get your workforce into the habit of recycling unwanted electronics and batteries too. When these are just left as trash on landfill sites they are extremely harmful for the environment but disposing of them more considerately will help cultivate a greener way of doing business.
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