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Nearly 70 per cent surveyed believe the Government could do more


Source: Materials Recycling Week

Results of a survey show 69 per cent of respondents believe the Government is not doing enough to financially incentivise the environment sector, as 57 per cent say they have been affected by the recession.

Conducted by the Energy Industries Council’s Environment Investment Network the survey - The Green Funding Gap: Environmental investment missing in the recession –has found that new and vital technologies are struggling to attract financial support.

Chair of The House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee Tim Yeo launched the survey at The House of Commons on 2 July.

EIC Environmental Investment Network join chair Michael Sippitt said: “This survey questionably confirms a funding gap exists, creating a significant barrier to environmental innovation, because of a lack of financial support. Banks and many equity investors are becoming increasingly risk averse and are not supporting new technologies. Government must ensure these funding sources are continually accessible for environmental innovators.”

It was felt that Government support is prevalent for research and development grants but not for the next stage of commercialisation. Equity investment was the preferred finance, as only 8 per cent of respondents would initially look to the Government.

Many commented that equity investors are becoming more wary of taking risks on new technologies but established companies were having no difficulties finding financial support from their banks due to their proven track record.

Many respondents not affected by the recession said market stability was due to UK or EU environmental legislation, or having secured long term public sector contracts.

EIC chairman Adrian Wilkes said: “Policy and legislation have huge effects upon companies’ experiences in a recession and the survey shows a need for a strategic vision and a timetable of future environmental policy targets.

“If the UK is to develop its market share and influence within this sector, it is paramount that government addresses the issues of the funding gap for commercialisation and provides an opportunity for private investment to support the development of new, vital environmental technologies to drive our economy through the recession and mitigate and overcome our impacts on the environment.”

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