Industry demands retention of ALSF for carbon reduction
THE Quarry Products Association has demanded that government gives both clarity to the future of the Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund (ALSF) and that the Fund’s scope should be extended to include a programme of carbon reduction for the industry. The call was made as part of the QPA’s carbon reduction statement of intent, announced by QPA chairman Lynda Thompson at the Association’s 2007 Showcase event in London on 17 May.
Having argued that the aggregates levy has brought little of the environmental benefits it claims to have introduced, the QPA has long maintained that the ALSF is the only means by which the nominally environmental tax can have any green benefits. Although it was announced in the March Budget that the aggregates levy is set to rise by over 22% in 2008, there was no declaration that the ALSF would be increased, or even retained.
The QPA has made representations to government through Treasury Minister John Healey MP and Defra Secretary of State, David Miliband, to secure the future of the fund as the Government’s comprehensive spending review continues. More specifically, the QPA has proposed that the ALSF supports its sector carbon-reduction plans to help the quarrying industry deliver what could be substantial carbon savings in the future.
In a letter to John Healey, Financial Secretary to the Treasury, the QPA wrote: Looking forward, there is an outstanding reason why the ALSF should be retained. This is that [it] should be refocused to align more directly with the Government’s key policy objective of reducing carbon emissions.
The retention and refocus of the ALSF is one of a number of measures designed to tackle carbon reduction as part the QPA’s statement of intent. Other elements include: supporting the Government’s targets that will emerge from the forthcoming Climate Change Bill; providing practical support for member companies to achieve carbon reductions; and identifying the carbon implications of industry activities and working with stakeholders, such as planning and regulatory bodies and customers, to seek low-carbon outcomes.
Commenting on the launch of the QPA’s statement of intent, Lynda Thompson went on to say that ‘Government has an opportunity to demonstrate that the Levy is not just an ever-increasing revenue raiser. It has an opportunity to underline that it is committed to supporting the aggregates industry in making further environmental improvements. Above all, it has the opportunity to work with an industry that wants to reduce its carbon footprint and has the ability to make this a reality.’
The formal statement of intent can be accessed online via the QPA website.