By Alice Godden

TL;DR The work of our national and local governments, local enterprise partnerships and research institutions to facilitate clean growth must be recognised and they need to be encouraged to do more. Find out more at our Driving Clean Growth Conference at UEA Enterprise Centre on 3rd September 2018.

Earlier this year the UK government launched a 25 year plan to improve the environment. In 2015 a 5p surcharge to reduce the number of plastic carrier bags being used. Since the introduction of these rules there has been an 83% reduction in carrier bag demand. This is an example of how a simple UK government policy can lead to more responsible use of our resources. In 2008 the UK government issued the Climate Change Act. This was the world’s first legally bound climate change target. This target was to reduce UK greenhouse emissions by 80% from the 1990 baseline from 2050.

The Paris Agreement of 2016 is a key example that shows the UK government is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and improving the environment. The key commitment is to keep mean global temperatures within + 2°C of pre-industrial temperatures. Smart meters to help consumer’s monitor their household energy consumption are being rolled out, and it is hoped that this will be complete by end of 2020.  This shows how the UK is moving towards an energy-efficient, lower-carbon centric economy.

With an increasing amount of plastic making its way into our waterways and oceans, the government is beginning to crack down on plastic waste. The UK government have launched a £20 million plastics research and innovation fund. With the shocking evidence broadcast on BBC’s Blue Planet II the general public are keen to see changes made to help clean up the oceans, and for policy makers to lead the public sector, so it is not surprised that there was over 130,000 responses from the public that plastic waste is a pressing environmental issue. 

Centre for environment fisheries and aquaculture science (Cefas), based in Lowestoft, is a world leader in solutions for the aquatic environment, food security and biodiversity.

With local leaders like this in the region, lobbying could help agree tighter targets for 2020 for central government and actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the future. Adastral-park based Trusted Renewables, are on a mission to utilise ICT to reduce carbon outputs and help the renewable energy sector. Examples of their work include smart-metering projects, and development of intelligent solar panels that can be remotely managed and inform the user of energy outputs.

The national Government have made considerable progress in supporting initiatives to grow our national low carbon economy and address some of our most prominent environmental issues. 

Yet, it is also important to note that local governments and local enterprise partnerships are also making headway in facilitating regional clean growth.

To find out how county councils, research institutes and local enterprise partnerships in the East of England are facilitating regional clean growth, join us at our Driving Cleant Growth Conference on 3rd Septemer at UEA Enterprise Centre.

Book your free ticket here