Miliband appeals to business on carbon agenda

By Alex Stevenson

Ed Miliband urged business figures to help him sell the transition to a low-carbon economy to the public yesterday.

The energy and climate change secretary was speaking at the launch of a new initiative, Carbon Connect, in Westminster.

He said the government was committed to achieving a landmark agreement at Copenhagen later this year and welcomed pressure from businesses to “do more, not less”.

“What I know is governments alone won’t achieve the global deal we need,” he told green business leaders.

“We have some of the technologies, but we also need to develop a whole new range.”

Mr Miliband described carbon capture and storage as “absolutely essential to tackling the problem of climate change”.

He received a warm welcome from those present, who appeared anxious to help the government but expressed concern about the rate of change.

“There’s a moral element,” one told Talking about the need to adapt to environmentally friendly measures, he added: “It makes good business sense – and it’s also the right thing to do.”

The group met at the launch of Policy Connect’s Carbon Connect initiative, which will bring together MPs, civil servants, business leaders and the government to explore workable solutions to the carbon agenda.

Its final report is expected in early 2010.