Industrial strategies must be resource efficient, say leading voices

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A group of leading business and policy voices have contributed a series of essays stressing the importance of resource efficiency and low-carbon development for the UK's industrial sector, the CIWM Journal reports.
The collection of essays, published by the Green Alliance, discuss how the UK Government needs to adapt and modernise the country's industrial strategy – or risk losing out on opportunities available for capitalising on the green economy.
Among the seven leading voices were the director general of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI); the deputy general secretary of the Trades Union Congress (TUC); the chief executive of Siemens UK; and the former secretary of state for business, innovation and skills.
In their essays, they all explain that low-carbon development and improved resource efficiency are both crucial for modern industrial strategy, and should be embedded at policy level.
Key to their argument is that any plans to boost business productivity must be aligned with the UK's low-carbon energy and resource policies. Carolyn Fairbairn, director general of the CBI, writes in her essay that finding opportunities for growth and decarbonising the economy are in fact "two sides of the same coin."
Meanwhile, Baroness Brown highlights that the UK's low-carbon goods and services sector is growing at a rate of 4-6% per year, meaning that it's already comparable with energy-intensive manufacturing.
Another expert, the TUC's Paul Novak, suggests that the development of low-carbon industry and expertise should be aimed at creating new opportunities to support the national economy and make up for losses in heavy industry.
Commenting on the landmark publication, Green Alliance senior economist – Angela Francis – said the collaboration of leading business, policy and academic voices highlighted that there is a "strong consensus" that low-carbon development and resource efficiency should be "at the heart of the vision for a modern, productive UK economy."
The Green Alliance hopes that the Government will focus on giving the country a competitive advantage in a post-Brexit climate – with a resource-efficient agenda promising to deliver substantial economic opportunities.
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