THE BLOG
22/07/2013 06:27 BST | Updated 18/09/2013 06:12 BST

Will Eco-Efficient Policy Be a Decisive Issue in 2015 UK Election?

A party's stance on renewable energy could be a decisive issue in the next general election due to eco-efficient policies becoming ever more inextricably linked to the state of the economy.

Whilst it is expected that all political parties will generally advocate reducing the nation's carbon footprint as a whole (after all, large scale recycling is almost becoming second nature) it will be important to consider a party's commitment to reducing energy bills. The economic downturn doesn't appear to be coming to a flourishing end for the time being, so with Labour laying down the gauntlet and promising to drive down the cost of energy bills, the public may start to consider voting for a party based on their promises to save the average Joe a bit of money, rather than their over convoluted pledge that will see the party leader rescue the world economy singlehandedly.

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Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls has said that Labour would implement a total decarbonisation programme if elected in 2015 and went on to criticise the Coalition's current energy policy.

'By raising the prospect of a new 'dash to gas' instead of renewables, by shackling the Green Investment Bank, and by failing to implement the scale and certainty of policy needed to effectively de-risk investment, the government has actively undermined business plans to create jobs and growth.'

It is also likely that businesses of all sizes would welcome a government that prioritises eco-efficient policy. Numerous businesses are already looking to reduce their carbon footprint as a means to drive down costs. One way they are doing this is by implementing an Environmental Management System and gaining ISO 14001 accreditation. This assists in expansion, as it is rare that new clients or customers would strongly oppose a company who demonstrate their commitment to the environment.

An improved reputation, coupled with further expansion may provide a company with surplus funds, which in turn, could be used to hire and train a new member of staff. Therefore, by making eco-efficient policies one of their top priorities, any government can see the domino effect this has, ultimately ending in job creation, which will undoubtedly be one of the biggest topics of debate at the next election cycle.

Forecasters predict that the 2015 election is likely to be as closely fought as 2010. The UK avoided a triple dip recession with 0.3% growth in the first quarter of 2013 but earlier downgrades in overall credit rating will be a tough mark to remove from the soles of David Cameron and George Osbourne. However, with economists predicting a period of slight growth for the UK economy from now until 2015, the Conservatives could see themselves saved by external circumstances rather than their own policy and memories of increases in tuition fees and dramatic reorganisation of the NHS.