30 Jan 2002 – Today sees the launch of a new industry body aimed at promoting sustainable energy development and cutting UK greenhouse gas emissions. The UK Business Council for Sustainable Energy aims to promote debate on the measures the UK needs to take and to help develop a strategy for the country in the run up to the World Summit on Sustainable Energy taking place in Johannesburg this September.

At a Millbank launch reception, UK Business Council chairman, Brain Count (chief executive of Innogy plc) said, “Tackling climate change needs a clear vision and effective policy delivery. Today I am delighted to be able to respond to the challenge the Prime Minister has set the energy sector in the lead into the World Summit on Sustainable Development and set out what I believe we need to do to grasp the new business opportunities that action on climate change will create.”

Supporters of the UK Business Council for Sustainable Energy include Innogy, Powergen, TXU Europe, Scottish Power, Shell, BP Energy, United Utilities and the Lattice Group (owners of the UK national gas transmission company, Transco).

Gareth R Thomas MP, chairman of the Parliamentary Renewable and Sustainable Energy Group (PRASEG) said, “Community and business support are both vital to achieving the Government’s twin targets for renewables and CHP. I know that across Parliament, we believe the new Business Council will be central to this process. I look forward to supporting its work.”

The new body has issued a policy prospectus and intends to take its work forward through three policy groups dealing with planning, emissions trading and energy efficiency.

David Green, Chief Executive of the UK Business Council, said, “The agenda before the Business Council is an exciting one. It will offer new challenges and new solutions. We will need a sustained and effective partnership between Government, the regulators, NGO’s and the business community.

“Our sustainable energy targets for 2010 are just eight years away. So now is the time to look not just at what needs to be done today, but more importantly, at how we are going to ensure that in 2010 we have made real progress and before then we have set out a path to the higher and more challenging targets for carbon emission retention that are undoubtedly needed.”

The UK government is committed to a target of 10 per cent of the country’s electricity generation from sustainable sources by 2010.