Green Economy Council meets for first time

Business leaders and government ministers have established a group to discuss plans for a low-carbon economy

A group of high-level business leaders and government ministers convened to speed the UK’s transition to a low-carbon economy has met for the first time.

The Green Economy Council will advise the government on how emissions can be reduced while minimising the cost to business and avoiding unnecessary regulation.

Its first meeting, chaired by business secretary Vince Cable, was held on 16 February. The key item on the agenda was the forthcoming ‘green economy roadmap’. This will set out the government’s long-term environment and climate change strategy and is due to be published in the spring.

Dr Cable said: “I’m delighted that we have attracted top business leaders from key sectors to join us on the Green Economy Council and help us develop these policies. We need to minimise the burdens on business and industry during this transition, while we create the necessary conditions for green growth and investment in the green economy.”

The 23 members of the council come from a cross-section of business and industry, including high-technology firms such as IBM, Siemens and Syngenta. Other members include Ford chairman Joe Greenwell, Kraft Foods president Nick Bunker and the managing director of Shanks, Ian Goodfellow. Mr Goodfellow also chairs waste industry body the Environmental Services Association.

Also onboard are Peter Young, chairman of the pro-green growth lobby group the Aldersgate Group, deputy director general of the Confederation of British Industry, Neil Bentley, and deputy general secretary of the Trades Union Congress, Frances O’Grady.

They will meet with ministers from the departments for environment (DEFRA), energy and climate (DECC) and business (BIS) about three times a year.

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