New net-zero commitments and environmental objectives agreed at the upcoming G7 summit of world leaders need to be met by widespread incentives and tax relief to help and not hinder small businesses.
Cumbria Chamber of Commerce is urging the government to support small businesses and make positive changes to help fast track commitments to net-zero in line with the G7 target of reaching it by 2050.
While businesses need to invest in cleaner technologies and promote environmentally-friendly practice, it is up to the government to take a lead and put together a national green business programme with clear incentives.
The G7 meeting of the heads of governments of seven leading developed democracies others begins in Cornwall on Friday for three days with the UK being the current president and host of the group.
It has already reached a provisional agreement on a global minimum corporate tax rate of at least 15 per cent to battle tax avoidance by making multi-nationals pay more in the countries where they do business.
But with it also being seen as the first ever ‘net-zero G7’, with all countries committed to reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 at the latest alongside deep emissions reduction targets in the 2020s, Cumbria Chamber would like to see a stronger commitment to help UK businesses go green.
What needs to happen:
A national green business programme including a remote energy audit in view of the increase of homeworking due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
A criteria of incentives to make it in local businesses interest to ‘go green’.
Grants of between £1,000 and £50,000 per business (at up to 40% of projects costs).
Support to improve energy and resource efficiency, enable growth and adopt low carbon technologies
A national Green and Sustainable Network for businesses to engage with.
Chamber Managing Director Suzanne Caldwell said: “A lasting recovery from Covid has to be a green recovery with investment in green jobs in Cumbria and across the UK and support for businesses to reduce their carbon footprint. Businesses should be heavily incentivised and access a number of grants to make the green-changes we all need to see.
“We would like the upcoming Environment Bill which was mentioned in the Queen’s Speech, the Office for Environmental Protection, and packages such as the England Tree Action Plan and Peat Strategy providing the much needed detailed planning.
“The UK government has a great window to lead in this area with the high-level declarations we have seen and supporting businesses to go green has to be at the heaty of the policy agenda and regulatory framework set out.
“This should include a variety of areas to reduce the carbon footprint such as water reclamation, solar panels, re-usable plastics and other materials, electric energy charging points and access to renewable power.”
**Cumbria Chamber is looking for feedback from businesses on your opinions or how you may be affected by the G7 and COP26 agreements as well as the upcoming Environment Bill. Please contact Luke Jarmyn, Business Engagement Manager, via email@example.com
**Cumbria Chamber is currently running a Coronavirus 2021 Recovery Survey to further understand both current issues and how we can support businesses across the region. Have your say and help us to help you, it can be accessed here.