The Circular Economy Task Force wants to see a National Resources Council created to strengthen the Government’s ability to respond strategically to resource supply threats.
Convened by the Green Alliance, the Task Force believes a National Resources Council would help businesses boost their competitiveness through increased productivity.
But it warns that business interests will be put at risk if nothing is done to protect resources in the UK.
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In a report, UK Resource Governance for the 21st Century, the Task Force looked at six potential new institutional arrangements for the UK to address the problem including the creation of an Office of Resource Management and a Department for Natural Resources.
However, it concluded that a National Resources Council, modelled on the National Security Council, would best help to channel political concern about resource risks into clear cross-Government action.
It proposes that an immediate priority for the council should be to commission a major review of resource risks to the UK.
This is because some of the challenges of the 21st Century include a historic high in resource price volatility, global competition for resources is rising and environmental limits rule out simply expanding supply.
Report author Jonny Hazell said: “Calls for decisive political action on resources are growing. The next Government must address the business and environmental risks of its out-dated resource policy. Political will has to be matched by effective governance capacity, and a new institution for resources within central government will signal that resource security is a political and economic priority for the UK.”
Kyocera Document Solutions UK director of brand and reputation Tracey Rawling Church added: “The price volatility and inflation that will inevitably result from growing scarcity of key resources will have a damaging impact on UK business and the current strategy has not been effective in either protecting natural resources or retaining the value of materials in the economy.
“It’s clear that increased focus on this topic from Government is essential, not just from an environmental point of view, but also to ensure economic resilience. Green Alliance’s proposal for a timely and practical intervention is commendable.”
Members of the Circular Economy Task Force include Boots, Kyocera Document Solutions, Resource Association, Sinvestec, Unilever, Veolia, Viridor and WRAP.