Commenting on the Queen’s Speech today, Philip Greenish, Chief Executive of The Royal Academy of Engineering, said:

“We strongly support the Climate Change Bill. Yet the ambition to cut CO2 emissions by 60 per cent by 2050 requires the development of innovative engineering solutions to improve the efficiency of energy use and a reduction in the demand for energy. The Government also needs to support the development of low-carbon sources of electricity. Predictable renewables such as tidal, landfill gas and biomass could, if promoted, make very significant contributions. Relying on renewables and gas-fired power stations will not plug the energy gap in the short term – a new-build nuclear programme is needed to retain at least the existing nuclear capacity.

“The Academy welcomes the extension of road-charging schemes to new areas to reduce congestion, provided that the proceeds are used directly to offset the true cost of infrastructure and environmental impact and are not seen simply as a money–spinning exercise. The new schemes must be designed from the outset to use common protocols for charging and enforcement. Congestion costs the UK around £15 billion a year and must be better managed – new housing developments in particular must be planned with better public transport to minimise the need for long journeys.

“Further Education colleges play a crucial role in our education and training system. FE accounts for the majority of A level provision, over 50 per cent of vocational qualifications at all ages and 10 per cent of higher education. We support the intention behind the Further Education Bill to provide greater freedom for colleges to respond to local learning needs. The Government must also continue to narrow the funding gap between sixth forms and FE colleges that currently acts in favour of sixth forms. FE colleges must be adequately funded if they are to deliver high quality education, including the new Engineering Specialised Diploma.”

Notes for editors

  1. Founded in 1976, The Royal Academy of Engineering promotes the engineering and technological welfare of the country. Our fellowship - comprising the UK’s most eminent engineers - provides the leadership and expertise for our activities, which focus on the relationships between engineering, technology, and the quality of life. As a national academy, we provide independent and impartial advice to Government; work to secure the next generation of engineers; and provide a voice for Britain’s engineering community.

For more information please contact

Tonia Page at The Royal Academy of Engineering