West Midland manufacturers have called for an economy-wide carbon tax, describing the government’s current approach to climate change policy as “chaotic, over-crowded and complicated”.
They say it is failing to change behaviour and threatens the competitiveness of UK manufacturers.
The EEF believes the first step in a new approach must be an economy-wide carbon tax which is based on energy usage.
This would provide certainty for users and encourage essential investment in the UK’s energy infrastructure, it said.
EEF director for the West Midlands Martin Wassell said: “Manufacturers have already made substantial reductions in emissions.
“However, there is now increasing evidence that they are struggling under the weight of legislation at European and national level which has produced a chaotic, over-crowded and complex landscape
“We now need a fresh approach.
“This will help a vibrant manufacturing sector to make a sustainable contribution to reducing global emissions of greenhouse gases and, continue investing and creating jobs in the UK.”
EEF estimates that if a carbon tax were applied to the domestic sector it would generate £1.7 billion per annum for the Exchequer.
This tax should be fixed for five years in line with business investment cycles and the government’s carbon budgets, it said.
As well as an economy-wide carbon tax, EEF has also called for a review of the role of the Carbon Trust by the National Audit Office.
This would have the aim of refocusing the support the organisation provides to make it more effective and credible for manufacturers.
The call is based on a new EEF report reviewing how climate change policy affects industry ten years on from the introduction of the Climate Change Levy (CCL).