More aid plea for low carbon firms

The Advertiser Series: "The Government should be doing all it can to support innovative UK businesses in their efforts to access the growing global market for low-carbon goods and services," says The Energy and Climate Change Committee. "The Government should be doing all it can to support innovative UK businesses in their efforts to access the growing global market for low-carbon goods and services," says The Energy and Climate Change Committee.

THE Government must do more to support companies developing products for the £3.4 trillion international market in low carbon goods and services, MPs have urged.

The Energy and Climate Change Committee warned of a mismatch between the level of Government ambition to support companies developing new technologies such as smart meters and renewable energy systems, and the resources allocated for it.

Companies often need support to bridge the "valley of death" to get innovative products to market, the MPs said, and developing low-carbon technologies is key to helping the UK meet targets to tackle climate change.

But the public-private body mainly responsible for delivering support, the Low Carbon Innovation Co-ordination Group (LCICG), was poorly resourced, had muddled governance, inadequate transparency and a lack of staff, a report by the committee said.

Tim Yeo, chairman of the ECC committee, said: "Entrepreneurs developing exciting new sustainable technologies sometimes need help to bridge the 'valley of death' and bring products to market.

"The Government should be doing all it can to support innovative UK businesses in their efforts to access the growing global market for low-carbon goods and services.

"We were surprised and disappointed to hear businesses and academic partners, among others, express continual frustration at the lack of consultation surrounding the Government's new low carbon strategy.

"These innovators could hold the key to getting the UK over the line on our carbon emissions targets, but it's going to be much harder for them to do that without better co-ordination to get us all pulling in the same direction and making better use of limited public funds."

The ECC committee report said the Government had not made enough progress since then to improve the situation.

It also criticised the Government for not doing enough to influence the EU on product standards which could make or break the market for innovative exports from the UK.

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