The government must do more to ensure that workplaces and homes are more energy efficient, the CBI has said.
The CBI made the statement following the failure of world leaders to achieve a binding global emissions agreement at the UN’s Copenhagen summit.
The employers’ organisation said that firms should shape their own energy-saving initiatives.
While acknowledging that the UK had enjoyed some progress in some areas of the energy industry, the CBI pointed out that, of the 24 indicators in its climate change tracker, 20 are behind schedule if the UK is to hit its 2020 carbon emissions target of a 20 per cent reduction.
Richard Lambert, the CBI’s director general, commented: “Following the disappointing outcome to the Copenhagen negotiations, the immediate emphasis must now be on those actions that don’t require global agreement and that bring economic benefits in their own right.
“Improved energy efficiency can take us a long way towards meeting our commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2020, and at the same time will bring significant economic benefits to the country.”
Mr Lambert went on to say that, instead of piecemeal plans to tackle energy waste, the government should publish a low-carbon delivery plan to help the UK save energy.
He added: “With £15 million a day being wasted on energy by businesses and households every day, we need easy-to-access support and incentives to encourage improved insulation in homes and offices, a switch to more fuel-efficient cars, and other energy savings steps.”
The CBI also expressed its disappointment over plans announced in the pre-Budget Report to reduce the Climate Change Levy discount.
As far as the actions that individual businesses can take, the CBI urged them to measure and monitor their energy use more precisely and to implement steps to reduce energy consumption.
Employees and supply chains should also be encouraged to promote energy efficiency.