The Clean Growth Strategy, a key part of Government’s Industrial Strategy, is set to expedite the rapid development of clean technology within the UK with £2.5 billion funding set aside for low-carbon innovation. Following significant progress made between 2010 and 2015 whereby greenhouse gas emissions dropped by 18%, Government aims to propel the country’s low-carbon shift with the largest increase in public spending on science, research and innovation in 30 years.
The latest funding is in addition to the £5.8 billion already pledged to help developing countries address climate change, and will be used within the UK to help increase the take-up of low emissions vehicles, develop a new system of environmentally-friendly agricultural support and further invest in renewable energy such as offshore wind.
The Clean Growth movement signifies major opportunities for businesses, the workforce and consumers. Over 430,000 people in the UK are currently employed in the low-carbon sector; an industry that looks set to grow by 11% each year. Potential benefits for businesses include increased productivity, reduced costs, improved efficiency and the creation of high-quality jobs which in turn boosts consumer earning power, supporting the economy.
Tim Burton, ERDF Projects Facilitator at Hertfordshire LEP, describes what is being done locally to support the cause;
“We support Government’s Clean Growth Strategy in Hertfordshire through targeted, EU-funded projects that help accelerate the shift to a low carbon economy. Initiatives such as Low Carbon Workspaces incentivises SMEs to switch to energy efficient office and site solutions by offering match funded grants of up to £5000. In addition, the Low Carbon Innovation Network run by building science centre, BRE helps the built environment sector remain focused on sustainability by encouraging SMEs to develop low carbon technologies. As the adverse consequences of climate change become increasingly apparent, we welcome Government’s commitment to Britain’s low carbon future and continue to offer our support.”
Both Low Carbon projects form part of the Hertfordshire Growth Package, an expanding range of business support programmes offered to SMEs within Hertfordshire, backed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).