Sustainable policy is key to unlocking the climate tech boom, but the UK’s U-turn isn’t helping


Sustainable policy is key to unlocking the climate tech boom, but the UK’s U-turn isn’t helping -Gudstory

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When British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak appeared before a hastily assembled press on September 20, the letter-laden slogan at his lecture took the nation by surprise: “Long-term decisions for a brighter future,” it read.

Of course, we now know that there was nothing hopeful in his subsequent speech. Certainly this is not about a technological battle for our future environment.

Not so long ago, Britain seemed to be a bright beacon in the industrial transformation towards reversing the global climate crisis. Countrywide targets were set. COP26 at least offered a platform and a spotlight. London has made progress in establishing itself as a hub for green tech startups. On the narrow but viable path toward net zero, leaders were at least taking the right steps.

Then came the nadir of the last few weeks.

Last week, with the government already infamous for its U-turn on its green promises, the nation joined global leaders in bemoaning the prime minister’s short-sighted choice. Sunak has pushed back the British net-zero transition timeline by at least five years.

The first and most serious concern is obviously the consequences for the future of our species on this planet. The next biggest issue, which is currently being voiced by leaders across all industries and particularly in the climate tech and climate finance sectors, is the message it sends to those of us who truly want to change the world and create a sustainable future. Trying to build the technology to enable that. ,

The message is loud and clear: the UK Government is unwilling to be consistent when it comes to climate crisis response policy, which, aside from support for capital and emerging tech markets, is one of the most important things anyone in our region can do. There is one. Can hope for.

For entrepreneurs, innovators and businesses to thrive and unlock the economic potential that comes from creating new industries, we need a coherent approach from government.

I care about this because, as Americans who have decided to build a biocatalyst engineering company in the UK, we are well aware of the impact such a change in policy would have on every step of our sector’s existence. Will have to. All major technological innovations ultimately come from government support in the beginning. Without government funding, government subsidies, government incentives, and government infrastructure, we would not have affordable solar panels, microchips, mobile phones, or the Internet. You can’t scale technology that’s going to have enough impact without upfront capital.

In January this year, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt unveiled a long-term vision to grow the economy, saying, “I want the world’s tech entrepreneurs, life sciences innovators and clean energy companies to come to the UK because it offers the best possible location.” Is.” Bring their vision to life.” Unless their long-term vision was to just last until the end of the summer for entrepreneurs, innovators and businesses to thrive and unlock the economic potential that comes from creating new industries, we need a sustainable approach from the government.

We have immense fiscal capacity. Within the UK climate tech community, we are working to create high-paying jobs and value for investors in almost every asset class. And collectively – hell, individually – our solutions could really change the world.

Indeed, this is the common cause for which we must unite. Our company is trying to move the industry away from reliance on fossil fuels to make chemicals, among other things. But the impact these political spats and contradictions in our climate commitments have had, for example, on the EV battery business – which has seen a five-year decline in market demand for its production – is not difficult to appreciate. If a giant like Ford is feeling the frustration, imagine the mood at a small green tech startup.

So what is drama? How can the government support those making efforts against an increasingly insecure (and disloyal) backdrop?

The reaction of any tech company affected by last week’s news will surely be the same.

First, we need a coherent macroeconomic policy. This has major implications for startups raising and deploying capital in climate R&D. The global economic contraction has made it difficult for these businesses to raise funds. The overall approach to the economy has an impact on how we, as businesses, make money and run our operations. Straight to salaries, which are difficult to maintain with inflation-based salary increases alone.

The second is a consistent tax policy. One of the most important things for startups is the Research and Development (R&D) tax credit. This was a lifeline that gave small, research-intensive companies months of budget runway each year, because it effectively gave them back a third of the money they spent in R&D. The government announced it would eliminate it last year, and it was only thanks to a lobbying effort led by the Startup Coalition that, at the last minute, a portion of that tax credit was preserved.

Which leads to the third and most important point: a coherent climate policy. The impact of one’s absence is visible in real time right now. Sunak’s public U-turn not only undermines the science and plays into the hands of climate skeptics. It also points to the future of any climate tech company whose launch plans are to be aligned around decarbonization timelines. This will harm economic confidence. People will lose their jobs. And alas, action will be further delayed.

In the end, it’s simple: inconsistency breeds uncertainty. So give us continuity. It is possible for our region to succeed despite bad policies. But to move forward, we need continued resolve and behavior from a government that really cares about leading in this important fight. Given the enormous stakes, which were taken seriously at least until recently, is this really too much to ask?


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