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Tackling Climate Change ‘Doesn’t Damage Economy’

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Michael Howard has said that the UK’s economic performance over the past 25 years proves that tackling climate change doesn’t mean that a country’s economy will suffer.

A report published by the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit showed that, of the G7 countries, the UK has performed the best when it comes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions from their 1992 levels and continued GDP growth.

Speaking to the Independent, Lord Howard said that both he and the then-prime minister John Major did not believe working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions would damage the UK’s economy when they signed the United Nations Climate Convention.

“This analysis shows that we were right and the doom-mongers were wrong,” he asserted.

Director of the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit Richard Black agreed with Lord Howard, noting that for countries with cross-party consensus and consistent policies “it’s perfectly possible to get richer and cleaner at the same time”.

At the end of last month, a group of businesses came together to urge the government to commit to ambitious energy efficiency targets. Arup and Kingfisher were among those to speak out in support of the strategy, which pushes for greater energy efficiency in residential as well as commercial buildings.

Installing energy saving window films in existing properties could be one way for businesses to begin to lower their energy consumption.

Chris Jofeh, director of global buildings retrofit at Arup, said that there are a multitude of benefits to decarbonising the UK’s buildings, including lower energy bills, new employment opportunities and greater energy security for the nation.

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