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Businesses in Lancashire are unaware of the government’s net zero policy, and many have little confidence in current “green” policies, new figures have revealed.

As world leaders arrive ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 28) in Dubai, almost a fifth of respondents to a survey of 1,000 UK businesses were from North & Western Lancashire – with many citing the government’s lack of coherence on green policies as an area of concern.

Over 1,000 businesses were surveyed for the research, with 96% of respondents SMEs. Similar research last year showed 61% of firms either not aware or having limited knowledge of the Government’s targets.

The research is published as the British Chambers of Commerce delegation of 60 businesses headed to COP28 this week. The delegation will meet UK and global politicians and take part in policy discussions, including on energy transition.

As part of its work with the Local Skills Improvement Plan (LSIP), the Chamber has been asking businesses across Lancashire on their plans for net zero and introducing green skills.

Many firms say they are confused by the government’s plans or have no knowledge of them and do not have the funding or capacity to introduce such measures.

The Lancashire LSIP has set up a Green Skills cluster group which meets in the new year to discuss priorities highlighted in the recent LSIP.

The Chamber also has its own Low carbon scheme which can be accessed through 13 local authorities across the county.

Preston-based construction firm, Volker Stevin, commented: “The biggest challenge will come from the removal of carbon fuel from construction plant. Without battery technology or alternative fuel power systems construction will continue to rely on carbon fuels to power large plant and machinery.

“Major improvements in the capacity to generate and distribute green electricity together with the ability to use it in remote locations without significant infrastructure will be a challenge and also an opportunity.”

Energy firm, Making Energy Greener, also commented: “Our biggest opportunity is helping the UK bring their existing housing stock to modern energy efficiency standards, reducing fuel poverty and assisting in decarbonising heating.
“Our biggest challenge is a software solution that assists in managing a complex workflow as well as reporting relevant data. And a huge skills shortage in our sector.”

Babs Murphy, Chief Executive of the Chamber, said: “Energy and the environment are one of the key pillars of policy for the government and seeing that a large majority of our membership has little or no knowledge of it presents a problem.

“The government has stepped back on its commitment to green issues over recent months, and we now need a clear and coherent framework so businesses in Lancashire know what is expected of them. As a Chamber, we have departments in place to help signpost businesses who need assistance, and we are more than happy to help them.”

For more information on Chamber Low Carbon, contact Lee Johnson at leej@lancschamber.co.uk or visit https://www.lancschamber.co.uk/how-we-can-help/low-carbon/

To sign up for the LSIP Green Skills cluster, visit https://bit.ly/49XqaM1

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