We live in a world where climate change has many celebrity endorsements but little government backing.
Theresa May’s attitude towards climate change was made clear when she axed the department dedicated to its mitigation it on her first day as Prime Minister. To demote its importance to a third share in a merged department is a begrudging compromise made to placate the wealth of experts and ordinary people urging for green legislation, comparable to a child breaking up their chocolate bar so they can give away the smallest piece possible when they first learn how to share.
Still fresh in the memory of the energy sector is the mostly useless ESOS scheme. In 2014, the Environment Agency and demolished DECC were made responsible for administering the implementation of ESOS schemes to all applicable businesses in the UK. The EU directive was rumoured to become UK energy policy but no movement happened in this direction, although this is no great loss to our green laws. ESOS urged companies to have a think about energy efficiency by browsing the recommendations in the energy audit but enforced no action from this assessment. How this is useful to anybody is a question many business voices have asked since the scheme landed.
The next audit is supposed to take place after four years so that leaves plenty of time to continue emitting toxic levels of carbon to the atmosphere before a last minute LED instalment, or more realistically, for the scheme to be scrapped.
Instead, energy efficiency should be incentivised so companies are empowered to act environmentally.
Initially, George Osbourne implied low carbon measures identified in ESOS audits could be incentivised by subsiding them ‘subject to strict value for money criteria’ but this was never enacted. Germany lead by a good example as the government gives out tax breaks to companies who achieve ISO 50001 (energy management targets) so their industry can work to combat global warming. The benefits of being green include reduced energy bills and increased profitability from being a social responsible company but a cultural change needs a financial push to get us moving in the right direction.
Hopefully the department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy will come up with a more successful way for businesses to make an impact on achieving carbon reduction.