The CBI has been accused of exaggerating the threat to jobs from tougher action on greenhouse gas emissions.
The Environmental Industries Commission, which represents more than 240 companies producing anti-pollution goods and services, said scaremongering by the employers’ organisation would eventually be bad both for jobs and the future of the planet.
Launching a campaign to combat the CBI’s lobbying, the commission challenged Tony Blair to focus on the potential benefits to the economy of stimulating green industries with huge worldwide potential, rather than on what it called the CBI’s overstated estimates of the risks of firms moving to ‘lighter-touch’ locations abroad.
Adrian Wilkes, chairman of the Environmental Industries Commission, said: “This is a vitally important campaign because the scaremongering deregulation lobby from polluting industries, led by the CBI, has captured the policy debate in Downing Street – to the huge detriment of British citizens and the UK economy.”
The commission said it would publish detailed research about the costs and benefits of tougher environmental regulation, adding that all economic studies showed that polluting industries consistently exaggerated the costs of controlling emissions.
A CBI spokesman said it rejected accusations of scaremongering. British business was “more than ready” to reduce greenhouse gases and already doing a lot about it, he told the Guardian.