The UK has today set out its plan for greater free trade in green technologies in the lead up to the Cop26 climate conference in Glasgow later this year.
A new Board of Trade report calls for the UK to “encourage” other countries to cut tariffs on green technology and to use its diplomatic standing to “encourage environmental action alongside considering proportionate use of trade policy”.
The report will be presented at the Board of Trade meeting in Glasgow tomorrow, which will be hosted by international trade secretary Liz Truss.
Other members of the Board of Trade include former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, former Labour health secretary Patricia Hewitt and Lord Mayor of the City of London William Russell.
The 52-page green report outlines the case for making trade in green technologies easier, particularly when dealing with developing countries, as a way to meet global climate goals.
This is considered particularly important in the lead-up to Cop26 later this year.
Boris Johnson has ambitions to strike a wide-reaching climate agreement at the summit, after already signing up to a multi-trillion global green infrastructure fund at the G7 summit in Cornwall this summer.
A member of the Board of Trade told City A.M. that the paper “takes on directly the idea that growth and environmental protection are in competition”.
“It argues in detail why the best thing you can do if you want countries to adopt deforestation is to make them rich by trading with them,” they said.
It also argues that foreign investment in green energy into the UK will be necessary to achieve “the UK’s green industrial revolution” and goal of being carbon neutral by 2050.
Boris Johnson’s ten-point climate plan sets out to invest billions in renewable enegy and green technologies to reduce the UK’s carbon footprint.
This includes plans to make the UK one of the globe’s largest producers of wind power.
Truss said that greater trade liberalisation will complement these goals.
“The UK is a leader in green exports and this report shows how free trade, free markets and free enterprise can be leveraged to counteract green protectionist policies that hold back the global transition to a low-carbon economy,” she said.
“Free enterprise is key to the UK’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, to tackling climate change, and to securing a stronger and freer trading environment that directly supports jobs in regions and nations across the UK.”