What can businesses expect from BEIS?

The gripping human drama that has played out in Westminster over the past six weeks has tended to obscure some of the radical structural changes that have also taken place at the heart of UK politics.

The new Departments for Exiting the European Union and International Trade are direct, self-explanatory responses to the UK’s exit from the European Union.

But the winding up of the Department for Energy and Climate Change and the morphing of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills into the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is altogether more intriguing.

Climate change is not an issue inextricably linked to our EU membership – albeit the EU’s 2030 energy and climate framework does set emissions targets for the UK. In fact, the UK’s own targets set under the Climate Change Act 2008 are even more ambitious than those passed down from Brussels.

So what does the removal of a titular climate change department mean for UK policy and for businesses engaged in the climate agenda?

There are, broadly speaking, two schools of thought where the new BEIS is concerned. One is that it signals a downgrading in the priority the UK Government places on tackling climate change.

The second, and counter view, is that all climate policy will henceforth be baked into a UK industrial strategy, something that many environmentalists have been advocating for years.

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