The transition to a low carbon economy is a transition, so indicators of change like investor confidence are a litmus test of the direction of travel. Sadly, news just in from an Ernst and Young survey of 529 UK- based firms and financiers shows such confidence sharply down since the Comprehensive Spending Review:
“The study…found that just 13% of respondents believe the Coalition will establish the conditions for success in the cleantech sector in 2011. This compares to a figure of 38% from a similar survey undertaken between August and October last year.”
E&Y describe the results as a “wake-up call to a government that had set out to be ‘the greenest ever’” and calls for urgent and decisive action in putting a clear, long-term policy framework in place. This report also makes for contrasting reading to the figures presented by US Energy Secretary Steven Chu last month in a speech about China’s emerging leadership in low carbon innovation across a range of technology areas.
The lack of drive in low carbon innovation policy – which offers the prospect of energy security, job creation and increased competitiveness – is a serious indictment of the Government’s failure to produce a credible plan to build a sustainable economy for the future, and the biggest gap in both its climate policy and its economic policy.