About the discussion paper
Published ahead of a major consultation to define the UK’s new industrial strategy, this paper argues that the UK can have a bright future if government and business work together to ensure the country can participate in the industries of tomorrow.
It sets out three major challenges facing the country – boosting sluggish economic growth and stagnating productivity; promoting greater regional development; and moving toward a more sustainable economy with lower greenhouse gas emissions.
In order to tackle these challenges, the briefing identifies four trends that the government’s industrial strategy should respond to:
- growing demand for different types of industrial products, partly as a result of digitalisation
- the move to a sharing economy where services are sold in lieu of physical objects
- changes in the way industrial products are produced, including as a result of increased reuse and recycling
- changes to the nature and availability of key inputs, including energy.
The UK’s industrial strategy must be cognisant of, and consistent with, these trends, to meet its overarching objectives. The UK has committed itself to dramatic improvements in the sustainability of its economy. Under the Climate Change Act there is a commitment for UK industry to become zero carbon by 2050. A new industrial strategy must therefore work to create jobs, improve productivity, boost innovation and create regional growth across the UK, at the same time as working to make industry low carbon and sustainable.
Citing this briefing
Please refer to this report as University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL). (2017, January). UK Industrial Strategy: Navigating a changing world. Cambridge, UK: The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group.
About the briefing
Tackling climate change will require us to collectively and significantly reassess our long-term social, technological, and economical systems. Governments and business must work together to ensure a sustainable and prosperous future. To do this we must make policy and investment decisions today that consider how a low carbon society will operate in the decades to come.
Decision-makers in both business and policy circles may struggle to connect their immediate priorities and planning to a 2050 timeline. However, long-term vision is a crucial tool for developing sensible and rigorous short and medium term-policies. If done correctly, such plans can build understanding across society about the nature of the changes underway, surface important assumptions and trigger key conversations about the plans and actions required. This would help strengthen the framework that will allow business to act on climate change and deliver sustainable development. This briefing provides an overview of the complementary relationship that can exist between government and business when it comes to policy, particularly on climate change. It also outlines key characteristics of business friendly long-term plans.
The briefing includes:
- Connecting long-term strategy to immediate plan
- Example case studies from around the world
- Designing business-friendly long-term plans
- Key characteristics for long-term plans
- Recommended resources and further reading
Citing this briefing
Please refer to this report as University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL). (2016, November). Future Proofing: sustainable plans for prosperous economies. Cambridge, UK: The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group.
Nine companies were included covering a variety of sectors ranging from energy companies and energy intensives, to those for whom the carbon price in Europe is more marginal in impact.
The interviews were free-ranging discussions focusing on what action companies had taken and the drivers behind these actions, whether and how the European carbon price had impacted on these actions and what other carbon reduction policies were relevant.
Interviewees were asked to identify what was helpful and what was more problematic in climate policies and how they hoped these would develop in the future.
Jos Delbeke, Director General of DG Climate Action, was also asked for his insights on how the EU ETS has developed over this period.
The University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership’s longest standing business platform, The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group (CLG) is a select club of European business leaders working together, under the patronage of The Prince of Wales, to advocate solutions to climate change to policymakers and business peers at the highest level, both within the EU and globally.
The CLG has commissioned this report with the support and engagement of the We Mean Business Coalition and the World Bank Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition.
Ten years ago, the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) brought together a group of thirteen pioneering business leaders to write an open letter to the UK Prime Minister. We called for UK leadership on climate change and offered to work in partnership with the UK government to tackle greenhouse gas emissions.
A short and relevant summary of the New Climate Economy synthesis report has been released by the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership and The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group.
The report sets out to understand how countries with different economies can achieve economic growth and development, while reducing the risk of dangerous climate change.
The succinct briefing is prepared with a business audience in mind and highlights the key points of the report: that the next 15 years are crucial, there are major opportunities for economic systems such as cities, land use, and energy, and that economic growth and action on climate change can be achieved together.
The New Climate Economy project was overseen by the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate. Chaired by former President of Mexico Felipe Calderón, the Commission is made up of 24 former heads of government and finance ministers, and leaders of businesses, cities, international organisations, and research institutions. The Commission was advised by a panel of 15 economists, all world leaders in their respective economic disciplines.
The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group (CLG) is a select club of European business leaders working together, under the patronage of The Prince of Wales and with the support and advice of the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL), to advocate solutions to climate change to policymakers and business peers at the highest level, both within the EU and globally.
As members of the Corporate Leaders Group we are all playing our part in driving the transition to a low carbon, resilient, and sustainable economy in the UK and across the world. We are active across most major sectors of the economy, and, as these case studies illustrate, across the board we have found that action to reduce emissions can deliver growth as well as emission reductions and benefits to consumers. However, government support has been key to much of the progress we have been able to deliver; shifting the transition up a gear will only be achieved with a clear and ambitious vision driving a long-term and consistent policy framework across Government.
Today, it is the sacrifice economies and communities will increasingly have to make if the world fails to address climate change and the buildup of greenhouse gases.
The Climate Has Changed report demonstrates that bold action on climate change makes good business sense. Analysis of data collected by the Carbon Disclosure project (CDP) reveals that companies are already achieving good internal rate of returns from their low carbon investments.
It also highlights that longer term policy is needed to help companies do more.
The Trillion Tonne Communiqué (2014) is a global call to arms from businesses who take the science of climate change seriously and are demanding a proactive policy response.
The Carbon Price Communiqué (2012) made the case for setting a price on carbon emissions as one of the main building blocks of an effective and ambitious climate change policy framework.
The 2°C Challenge Communiqué (2011) called on governments to break the deadlock in the international negotiations and take action at a national level to ensure a successful transition to green growth and a climate resilient economy.
The Cancun Communiqué on Climate Change (2010) made it clear that the case for a comprehensive international framework to tackle climate change still stood after Copenhagen, and that the need for action was increasingly urgent. The signatories urged governments to redouble their efforts to achieve this framework and also to take necessary and appropriate mitigation actions in parallel with such efforts.
The Copenhagen Communiqué on Climate Change (2009) was signed by over 950 companies from 60 countries including the US, EU, Japan, Australia, Canada, Brazil, Argentina, Russia, India, China, Korea and South Africa; ranging from the world’s largest companies and best known brands, to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
The Poznań Communiqué (2008) was launched by the CLG ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference in Poznań, Poland. The Poznań Communiqué set out the key elements of an international deal on climate change and was endorsed by the business leaders of over 140 companies worldwide.
The Bali Communiqué (2007) was published by the CLG to governments gathering at the UN Climate Change Conference in Bali. CEOs from over 140 global companies signed The Bali Communiqué and it was published in a centre-page spread in the Financial Times and International Herald Tribune on the eve of the conference. It was an unprecedented move by business and received significant worldwide media attention.