Jeremy Lefroy has quizzed the Energy Minister, Greg Barker, what the steps the Government can take to support energy intensive industries, such as steel and ceramics, and help them remaining competitive across Europe.
“What discussions is [the minister] having with energy-intensive industries such as ceramics and steel, which are key employers and exporters, to ensure that their prices are competitive with countries such as Germany and France?”
“We are very much engaged with all the energy-intensive industries, because we are absolutely determined in DECC to ensure that decarbonisation does not lead to de-industrialisation. On the contrary, if we are smart the low-carbon transition should enhance our competitive position. But that does mean being sensitive to the burdens that we place on manufacturing industry. We are starting with a package of compensation worth £250 million for energy-intensive industries, but that is only the beginning of a much more nuanced and ambitious policy.”
Mr Lefroy has championed the case of high-energy users as local employers such as the ceramics industry who risk being unfairly penalised by climate change objectives if measures are not put in place to help those firms remain competitive – and thus keep manufacturing in the UK rather than moving abroad.
Speaking after the debate, Mr Lefroy added:
“We are all committed to reducing our carbon emissions and doing business in a sustainable way. But we must ensure the transition to a low carbon economy does not costs us jobs that simply move abroad. That is why I am pleased that the Government has, and continues, to listen to the case made by these energy intensive industries to ensure support is in place to help them adapt.”