Dan Fell, CEO of Doncaster Chamber has welcomed findings from a report, commissioned by the Doncaster Climate and Biodiversity Commission, but warns businesses face enormous challenges at this time.
The Commission, set up by Mayor Ros Jones and chaired by Ed Miliband MP, was established to set targets and actions for the whole borough, putting Doncaster as a frontrunner for tackling climate change.
Following the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the UK government’s own advisers, areas the Committee on Climate Change looked at included:
- reducing the emissions of the ‘greenhouse’ gases such as carbon dioxide from fossil fuels that are causing the atmosphere to heat up
- the likelihood of more frequent and extreme weather conditions to prepare for
- the loss of nature that is contributing to climate change and how this can be turned around so that nature helps to provide part of the solutions we need for a better future
Taking a closer look at the findings in the report published this month, the team at the Chamber, which has supported Doncaster businesses for over 75 years and who’s member were represented on the commission, agree that green business is good business, not just ethically but commercially, but have also highlighted that the need for Doncaster to remain growth orientated and business friendly is vital in a post-Covid world.
Mr Fell said, “Doncaster’s business community is ready and willing to be part of the solution when it comes to tackling the climate crisis. We know what makes environmental sense typically makes sound commercial sense too; businesses will therefore recognise that there should not be any tensions between Doncaster’s climate ambitions and the borough’s desire for continued economic growth.”
That said, balance is also important, and the Chamber recognises that business of all sizes are fighting for survival in the current climate and they are keen to avoid piling more burdens on the sectors hardest hit by Covid-19. As a guide for SMEs, to help them become greener, the Chamber states that the report has a part to play in the Government’s Covid-19 recovery toolkit.
The Chamber’s main aims are to see more jobs and economic growth for Doncaster. Without economic growth, they believe they will not be able to fulfil all of Team Doncaster’s obligations.
The Covid-19 crisis has been incredibly challenging for local communities, and the hugely negative impact of coronavirus on the economy highlights the need for the Chamber to prioritise supporting the business community to bounce back.
Mr Fell continued, “The business community continues to face enormous challenges at present and has, throughout Covid-19, demonstrated that enterprise is a force for good. That respect for business and desire for Doncaster to maintain its hard-won reputation as a business-friendly borough must be at the heart of our borough’s response to the climate crisis.”
“It is important that the borough acknowledges the makeup of our business stock which is highly reliant on small and micro firms. As such, we need to recognise that even if firms are willing, they might not yet be able. Therefore, we need Government to initiate a step change in the business support available to SMEs to help companies fulfil obligations and meet opportunities alike.”
A link to the final report is available on the Team Doncaster website: https://www.teamdoncaster.org.uk/the-commission