Speech: Minister Claire Perry reflects on her time at Climate Week

Opportunity. It’s a word you hear a lot in America. And it’s something I heard time and time again last week during New York Climate Week.

Climate Week represented the first major gathering of international climate leaders since the US announced its deeply regrettable decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement. But it’s clear the momentum that produced that historic accord is unchanged – the global, unstoppable shift to a low carbon economy is transcending the actions of any one country and that brings with it a huge amount of opportunity for Britain.

Recent analysis from PwC shows that the UK is decarbonising faster than any other G20 nation. Since 1990, we have grown our economy by two-thirds, while cutting emissions by more than a third. We should be proud of this progress; however the government knows that there is much more to do.

This is why the Prime Minister’s confirmation last week of our plans to end dirty coal generation by 2025 is so important. It’s an unambiguous commitment to a low carbon future that sends a clear message to clean energy investors around the world: the UK is open for business.

Decarbonisation is going to take more than government policy. We will need to find ways to deploy the public and private capital to finance this revolution – the International Energy Agency estimates that more than $13 trillion will be needed between now and 2030 just to finance the clean energy countries will need to meet their Paris agreements. It’s here the UK has a competitive advantage and a chance to build on one of our greatest strengths – that we are the greatest finance capital in the world.

So we’ve got all the basics we need to lead the way on green finance but how do we make the most of this opportunity? On government’s part we must ensure that the UK remains the financial services centre of the world and the global hub of financial innovation. And we must do everything we can to accelerate the growth of green finance by drawing on the expertise of the City.

That’s why I’ve been working with the Economic Secretary to the Treasury Stephen Barclay to establish a Green Finance Taskforce that brings together leading figures from the finance sector, chaired by Sir Roger Gifford, who also chairs the City of London’s Green Finance Initiative. This will meet for the first time tomorrow (Tuesday 26 September).

We will also be working with the Green Finance Initiative and British Standards Institute to develop a new set of voluntary green and sustainable finance management standards, alongside the industry.

And we’re endorsing, officially, recommendations from the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures which encourage all listed companies to align climate-related risk management and financial governance.

I launched the plans last week alongside Theodore Roosevelt IV – the great grandson of the former President and Managing Director for Barclays Capital Corporation – and Michael Bloomberg who chaired the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures. It is clear from the enthusiastic response that we are tapping into something the world needs to make the low carbon transition and can build on our thriving financial sector which already has $7 trillion of assets under management and employs more than 2 million people.

It is increasingly clear that if we meet our decarbonisation challenges but also look to build on our positions of strength in finance – or offshore wind or electric vehicles – we can export our expertise, generate jobs and improve productivity right across the country. And that means that while the low carbon challenge is a steep one, the opportunity is far greater.

News story: North Sea exploration funding announced

New exploration in the North Sea will be supported by a £5 million UK government fund for 2018/19, Philip Hammond announced today (25 September) during a visit to Aberdeen and Dundee. The funding will be used by the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) to survey under-explored areas of the UK Continental Shelf to find potential new deposits.

The announcement came on the same day that the Oil & Gas Technology Centre in Aberdeen, which the Chancellor visited and is part-funded by the UK government, said its work with industry on new subsea technologies could help unlock 400 million additional barrels of oil and gas from the North Sea and £3 billion of additional value to the industry.

Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, said:

The oil and gas industry remains vital for the Scottish economy and the UK as a whole. The £5 million funding I am announcing will help exploration to find potential new deposits, and boost prospects for jobs in Aberdeen and the surrounding area. This continues the UK government’s extensive package of tax and funding support for the industry and the wider Scottish economy.

I’ve seen today how Dundee has benefitted from our life sciences and creative sector funding. I now look forward to progress being made on the Tay Cities Deal, which will follow the £1 billion already committed by the UK to Scotland’s City Deals so far.

This government will continue using the UK’s broad shoulders to provide Scotland with the skills and support it needs to thrive in the future.

UK Energy Minister, Richard Harrington, said:

North Sea oil will continue to fuel growth and jobs across Scotland and the rest of the UK, with an estimated 10-20 billion barrels still remaining.

I was in Aberdeen last month and saw first-hand the work of the Oil and Gas Authority which we established to be a strong, independent regulator focused on maximising economic recovery.

The sector continues to have the full support of the UK government, confidence is returning, and today’s announcement recognises there are great opportunities for further exploration.

Earlier in the day, the Chancellor met local businesses in Dundee to discuss how UK government tax support has helped them grow, including reducing corporation tax and introducing creative sector tax relief. The waterfront regeneration underway in Dundee includes the stunning new V&A museum currently under construction, supported by £5 million UK government funding.

Philip Hammond also visited Dundee University life sciences complex, which is a world leader in areas including drug discovery. It has received more than £20 million in UK government funding in recent years and is now ranked highly on global ratings for its scientific excellence and impact of its research.

In Aberdeen, he met oil and gas industry representatives to discuss how the £5 million funding could help employment and the economy in the region. The UK government has given substantial support to the oil and gas sector, including a £1.3 billion package of tax cuts at Budget 2015 and a further £1 billion package at Budget 2016.

The UK internal market is the most important for Scotland’s economy. Scotland sells four times as much to the rest of the UK as it does to the entire EU, for example, and the UK is currently working to protect the benefits of this market, and provide continuity and certainty as we prepare to leave the EU.

The UK government is also backing plans to establish Aberdeen as a global leader in decommissioning, creating skilled jobs and exporting this advanced knowledge to other countries. Tax relief for decommissioning is in place, covering around 40% of the total cost for UK companies and forecast to be worth around £24 billion between now and the 2050s. The OGA has also committed to reduce the overall costs for industry.

Press release: Bazalgette review sets recommendations for continued growth of UK’s Creative Industries

The review commissioned by the government and led by the current Chair of ITV Sir Peter Bazalgette, outlines key recommendations for how the Creative Industries can underpin the UK’s future economic growth. It highlights how the sector is continuing to outperform other sectors in terms of employment, having already grown 300,000 jobs between 2011 and 2015.

The review makes a number of recommendations on how government and the Creative Industries can work together to remove barriers to growth. It spans issues from access to finance, intellectual property, trade and creative clusters – areas with high concentrations of ambitious companies who will drive regional growth.

Culture Secretary Karen Bradley said:

The UK’s Creative Industries are an economic powerhouse and the government is committed to removing the barriers to its growth.

The key challenge now is turning these ideas into a strong partnership, which is credible and has buy-in from both government and industry.

I encourage the sector to do what it does best - think creatively and work with us on achieving a compelling and ambitious deal that allows the UK Creative Industries to continue to thrive.

Other asks include a strategy to attract and develop young talent to make the Creative Industries more accessible, including a careers programme for secondary schools and expanding the UK’s network of Saturday Clubs.

The review’s recommendations will now be considered carefully by the Government as part of its Industrial Strategy and used to inform work towards a sector deal in the coming months. In response the Government has already announced the opening of the £80 million Creative Industries Clusters Programme competition, led by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).

Business Secretary Greg Clark said:

The UK’s booming Creative Industries contribute nearly £90 billion to the economy and employ more than two million people.

The review unveiled today demonstrates our world-class talent and expertise in these areas and reflects the industry’s vision for how we build on these strengths, now and in the future. We are grateful to Sir Peter Bazalgette for his excellent work. We will be working with him in the coming months towards a sector deal that helps us grasp the opportunities ahead.

The £80 million Creative Industries Clusters Programme being launched today will deliver a further boost to our creative industries, help spread prosperity and grow the creative skills base across the UK.

This funding means that from today, eight areas of the country will be able to establish creative Research and Development (R&D) Partnerships between universities and businesses. The Programme, which is supported by £39 million from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund and matched by industry, will help catalyse economic growth and provide the skills needed for the jobs of the future and respond to challenges identified by the creative industries in their cluster.

And a new Policy and Evidence Centre will help fill the gaps in our understanding of the creative industries - from the full value of their economic contribution to how they compare internationally.

Sir Peter Bazalgette said:

In every scenario the Creative Industries are set to be of central importance to the UK’s future success. We have two great assets: the English language and our creativity, but the skills and business models of this sector are of increasing importance.

My report recommends simple ways of maximising the potential of this crucial sector which I’d like to see become part of the government’s developing Industrial Strategy.

I urge government to ensure the final strategy is based on a fundamental understanding of what these industries need to thrive.

Nicola Mendelsohn, Vice President for Europe, the Middle East and Africa at Facebook and chair of the Creative Industries Council, said:

On behalf of the Creative Industries Council, I welcome Sir Peter Balzalgette’s report, which makes clear how vital our industries are to the economy of the 21st century, and frames an exciting ambition for growth and jobs over the next decade.

Sir Peter has identified some important priorities for action: we strongly share his desire to promote innovation, intellectual property and access to finance for growing creative enterprises; to support growth in international trade and creative clusters around the UK; and to secure the pipeline of diverse talent which our industries need in order to thrive.

The Council looks forward to working with Government, and all parts of the industry, over the coming weeks in order to secure a Sector Deal which builds on Sir Peter’s review and cements the UK’s position at the heart of a thriving global creative economy.

John Kampfner, CEO of Creative Industries Federation said:

The Federation welcomes Sir Peter Bazalgette’s review and the growing acknowledgement by government that the creative industries are an essential part of the country’s future growth. We are also pleased to see that many of the recommendations the Federation and our membership submitted to the review have been reflected within it.

Building the pipeline of talent to supply the creative workforce is crucial to ensure the continued success of the sector - the fastest growing of the UK economy worth £87bn. That is why the Federation particularly welcomes the initiatives around skills including our idea for a Creative Careers Campaign within the Bazalgette review.

Sir Peter was commissioned to undertake the review by Culture Secretary Karen Bradley and Business Secretary Greg Clark following the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper in January.

ENDS

Notes to Editors

  • The review’s findings show the industry played a key role in the UK’s economic recovery. It contributed £87.4 billion in GVA in 2015, 5.3% of the UK economy (comparable to the Construction or Information sectors) and between 2010 and 2015 grew by 34% - faster than any other sector.
  • It also outperformed other sectors in terms of employment growth: between 2011 and 2015, employment in the sector increased by 19.5% (circa 300,000 jobs) compared to 6.3% average across the wider UK. The sector is also a net exporter of services (£11.1bn surplus in 2014).
  • The report also finds that creative occupations, which make up a high proportion of Creative Industries jobs, are highly resistant to automation with 87% of creative workers in the UK at low or no risk, meaning their share of the workforce is likely to rise steadily in coming years.
  • Sir Peter Bazalgette is Chairman of ITV and Chair of HM Government’s Holocaust Memorial Foundation. He serves on the Advisory Boards of BBH and YouGov and is currently Chair of the Baillie Gifford Non-Fiction Book Prize. From 2013 until 2017 he was Chair of Arts Council England. He is also a former Non-Executive Director of the DCMS.

Research and analysis: Industrial clusters in England

This research uses an innovative big data approach to identifying clusters of businesses in three sectors. It includes a case study for a cluster in each sector exploring both how the clusters developed and the nature of relationships formed by companies with other companies and local institutions.

Geographical clusters of the digital health, financial services and processing industry sectors are identified by web scraping. Qualitative case studies are conducted on three clusters identified by the quantitative analysis:

  • North East of England Process Industry Cluster (NEPIC)
  • Financial services cluster in Leeds City Region
  • Digital health cluster in Birmingham

The report includes a critical appraisal of the project which highlights the contribution of this study to the wider research programme on industrial clusters as well as areas for future research.

Form: IPCC call for UK Experts to produce the IPCC Sixth Assessment

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is producing its Sixth Assessment Report (AR6). The UK Focal Point, based in the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), invites expressions of interest from UK experts to participate in the production of this Report.

The role of the IPCC is to assess in a comprehensive, objective, open and transparent way the scientific, technical and socio-economic information relevant to understanding the scientific basis of risk of human-induced climate change, its potential impacts and options for adaptation and mitigation. The IPCC includes three working groups: Working Group I assesses the physical science basis of climate change; Working Group II is responsible for impacts, adaptation and vulnerability; and Working Group III assesses the mitigation of climate change.

The outlines of the Working Group contributions to the AR6 were developed after a comprehensive scoping process involving the scientific community and governments. They can be accessed on the IPCC Website.

A detailed description of the IPCC writing and review process is contained in the Procedures for the Preparation, Review, Acceptance, Adoption, Approval and Publication of IPCC Reports on the IPCC website. The tasks and responsibilities for Coordinating Lead Authors, Lead Authors, and Review Editors are specified in Annex 1 to these procedures.

Further information is available on the IPCC website.

To apply

All nominations should include the Working Group(s), chapter(s), and author role(s) for which the candidate is being nominated, and a specification of the nominee’s key area of expertise. Experts can be nominated for a maximum of 3 chapters per Working Group.

Working Group II also welcomes the nomination of experts with expertise in areas specific to the cross-chapter papers (see outline). Experts interested in the cross-chapter papers will need to be nominated for one of the relevant sectoral chapters (Section 1) or regional chapters (Section 2) and selected for the respective chapter teams. Author teams of the cross-chapter papers will be recruited from the chapter teams as a second step. For example, the Polar regions Cross-Chapter Paper will include Authors selected for Chapter 2 or 3 or for Chapters 10-14, where polar issues are integrated.

To be considered for nomination please complete the appropriate nomination form for the Working Group to which you would like to apply, and return in .xls or .ods format, with a CV comprising no more than 4 pages in .pdf format to beisipccauthorsupport@beis.gov.uk

Deadline - Midnight Tuesday 24 October 2017

Next steps

The UK Focal Point will submit nominations meeting expertise criteria and minimum application standards for this meeting as described by the IPCC.

Coordinating Lead Authors, Lead Authors and Review Editors will be selected by the Working Group I, II and III Bureaux. The IPCC seeks a balance of men and women, as well as between those experienced with working on IPCC reports and those new to the process, including younger scientists.

BEIS is unable to guarantee travel & subsistence support for attendance at relevant meetings. A level of assistance may be considered, once other reasonable potential avenues of sources of support, such as the applicant’s employer, have been exhausted. Applicants may seek such support from the team of the UK IPCC Focal Point by contacting beisipccauthorsupport@beis.gov.uk for further information on the process. Applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis only after formal invitation from the IPCC has been received.

Open consultation: Assessment and Design Fees: consultation on draft regulations

Government believes that allowing distribution network operators (DNOs) to charge upfront Assessment & Design (A&D) fees when processing connection requests to the electricity distribution network, will help ensure a fairer sharing of costs between customers and help improve the efficiency of the overall connection process.

We’re seeking comments on the draft Statutory Instrument (The Electricity (Connection Offer Expenses) Regulations 2017), which will enable DNOs to charge these fees.

We would like views on the proposed approach, our assessment of the economic impacts, and the draft Statutory Instrument, from those with an interest in distribution network connections, for example, generators, property and commercial developers, local authorities and development bodies, and community energy bodies.

The consultation document also responds to comments made as part of the earlier Call for Evidence on Assessment and Design Fees.

E.ON is Saying Goodbye to their Standard Variable Tariff

E.ON has committed to replacing its standard variable tariff (SVT) with a fixed term tariff for any customers that have a smart meter installed. In addition, any SVT customer who already has a smart meter with E.ON will be offered a move to a replacement one-year fixed tariff.

Starting in early 2018 standard variable tariffs will no longer be the default option for people coming to the end of their existing tariff. Instead, customers will have the option to 'roll over' on to the latest version of a fixed term contract. Existing standard tariff customers who have a smart meter, or who have arranged to have one fitted, will move to a new fixed term tariff with the same 'roll over' option or, if they really don't want to, they will have the possibility to opt out and remain on an evergreen variable tariff.

The new one-year fixed tariff will have a price fixed for one year to give customers security. Like a standard variable tariff, this fixed term tariff will have no exit fee and customers are free to engage with the market as they see fit. In the same way as today, customers will be prompted to consider all E.ON's tariffs to choose a new tariff that best meets their needs.

Michael Lewis, CEO of E.ON UK:

"Standard variable tariffs have had their day. Tomorrow is about customers feeling free to engage with the market with tariffs that work for them."

"We believe standard variable tariffs have had their day. Tomorrow is about helping customers engage with the market with tariffs that work for them. We want to take action now to make that happen for our customers and we'll work with Ofgem and BEIS over the coming months to make this a reality.

"For us, smart meters are a key means to achieve this move because they represent a natural opportunity for engagement with our customers and the new technology opens up a world of more accurate billing and greater choice. We'll be ramping up our activity next year so we're able to start taking thousands of people off standard variable tariff each week - added to which, their smart future will begin with a price drop.

"However, this isn't only about smart metering customers. We'll also be working on options for classic meter customers joining us or coming to the end of fixed term tariffs. This is about increasing engagement with customers and having better conversations about what they need from their energy supplier, making sure they have the tools and the knowledge to choose a tariff that best suits their needs."

Interested in switching your energy supply to E.ON? Energylinx offer a free and impartial energy comparison and switching service. You can arrange a switch online or by calling one of our energy advisors on 01259 220000.

All current E.ON customers can register for a smart meter to be installed. They can also select from a range of tariffs such as a fixed term contract or the new Cap and Track tariff so they can see the benefits of a fixed product whilst waiting for a smart meter to be installed.

Research and analysis: Science and innovation audits: second reports published

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) invited consortia to form around geographic and technological themes and apply to be involved in the science and innovation audit (SIA) process. These consortia are made up of businesses, universities, research and innovation organisations, Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and their equivalents in the devolved administrations.

The summary report presents the findings of the second wave of audits.

In November 2016 the second wave of consortia from around the UK were selected to undertake their SIAs and their reports are as follows:

Bioeconomy of the North of England

East of England

Applied Technologies in Scotland’s Central Belt

Innovation South, Digital Enabling Technologies

Medical Technologies in the Leeds City Region

Liverpool City Region

OffShore Renewable Energy

Oxfordshire Transformative Technologies Alliance

The Science and Innovation Audit process produced valuable and informative evidence that will contribute to the future economic direction of their areas.

Background

The Science and Innovation Audits (SIAs) were first announced on 16 July 2015 by the Universities and Science Minister Jo Johnson MP.

The call for expressions of interest was launched 9 November 2015

Objectives of the SIAs

The first five SIA reports

The announcement of the 2nd Wave was made as part of the Autumn Statement in November 2016 (see page 30, 3.32).

Email ScienceInnovationAudits@beis.gov.uk to be kept updated on the science and innovation audits