Suffolk: UK must help China become low carbon’ - says MP Tim Yeo

THE UK must help China to build a low carbon economy in order to prevent dangerous rises in global temperatures, a powerful Parliamentary body headed by a Suffolk MP says.

A report by MPs on the Energy and Climate Change Committee, which is chaired by South Suffolk MP Tim Yeo, argues that helping the rising superpower with its low-carbon development should be at the heart of Government plans to tackle climate change and secure high-value business opportunities for UK firms.

Mr Yeo said British firms could “benefit enormously” from China’s investment in carbon capture and storage and wind, wave and tidal power, but said the Government needs to do more to help them gain access to these “huge potential markets”.

“China must succeed in building a low-carbon economy if the world is to avoid dangerous and disruptive temperature rises in the coming decades,” he said..

“We applaud the steps China is now taking to do this and the emphasis placed in the 12th Five Year Plan on promoting low carbon technology and infrastructure.

“By demonstrating low-carbon leadership at home, the UK could punch well above its weight in encouraging major emitters like China towards low-carbon development, but only if Ministers can come up with a more focused strategy.”

China is the fastest growing economy in the world and by 2030 could account for half of the world’s CO2 emissions.

Most Read

However, it has recently set out ambitious plans to reduce the carbon intensity of its economy, boost green energy, draft a new climate law and introduce carbon trading.

The MPs say now is the ideal time for the UK to work with China and prepare the ground for a future international agreement on climate change – which will not be possible without Chinese engagement.

They point to potential opportunities for British businesses in China’s burgeoning markets for low-carbon technologies which are currently worth around �430billion.

The report warns, however, that the Government’s work in China suffers from a lack of strategic direction.

There are too many small projects, focused on too many different areas, rather than a coordinated effort to achieve key objectives, it says. It believes the UK Government should focus instead on a smaller number of strategic interventions that are tailored to appeal to Chinese priorities and which build on UK strengths.