Top UK Firms Pledge Support For Davey’s Green Agenda

Sony and Vodafone among 16 organisations to offer support to new Energy and Climate Change minister

Ed Davey’s plans for a greener economy received a boost on Monday as a group of leading green businesses and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) came out in support of the newly appointed Energy and Climate Change minister.

The announcement was made in an open letter printed in Monday’s Daily Telegraph and is backed by Sony, Vodafone, National Grid, Unilever, Thames Water, Co-operative, Kingfisher, SSE and Marks & Spencer, as well as other organisations including the World Wildlife Fund, the Aldersgate Group, Climate Change Capital, the WSP Group, Good Energy, and Ecotricity.

Building a green economy

Davey, who replaced fellow Liberal Democrat Chris Huhne earlier this month, said that the green economy “isn’t just good for the planet – it’s good for the wallets, purses and pockets of every British citizen too”, a sentiment echoed by the group of supporters.

The open letter expressed an urge to shift investments towards energy efficiency programmes, promote renewable sources and “establish the UK as a leading green economy – providing a hub for jobs, sustainable growth and prosperity”.

The presence of Sony, Vodafone and National Grid in that list reveals the vested interest of some major IT and energy companies in improving the UK’s energy policies, especially considering recent setbacks to green agendas.

Last month it was revealed that the majority of data centres in the UK would fail to cut energy use for 2012, with three quarters predicting they would be using more than last year. Also worrying was the warning from the Public Accounts Committee of MPs that government plans to invest £11.7 billion in smart meters could be problematic, suggesting that consumers would not necessarily know how to use them effectively and that the technology was not completely secure.

More promisingly for Davey, the government’s £30million investment in green IT projects from last December will increase the use of renewable energy in the public sector. The initiatives, laid out by Davey’s predecessor, will be split between Local Energy Investment Funds (Leaf) and the Salix Scheme, which helps schools and hospitals get lower interest loans.