The CBI has attacked what its sees as the “deafening silence from all the parties about the issues of climate change” during the UK’s General Election campaign.

Rain Newton-Smith, CEO of the influential business body, said in a speech on Monday that the next government cannot claim to be pro-growth without also being pro-green.

The UK goes to the polls on Thursday 4 July to elect a new government, or re-elect the incumbent Conservative Party, with the Labour Party currently looking firm favourite to win.

The Conservatives have taken a pragmatic approach to climate policy in the campaign, pushing forward with an energy transition while also seeking to use the UK’s oil and gas resources during the process.

Labour has said it wants to make the UK a clean energy superpower, and has mentioned a Green Prosperity Plan that will be funded in part by a time-limited windfall tax on the oil and gas giants making record profits.

The UK Government is aiming to reduce all direct emissions from public sector buildings by 50% and 75% by 2032 and 2037, respectively, with all UK emissions reaching net zero by 2050.

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Newton-Smith added that there is a substantial risk in trying to “separate the economy from net zero [and] the next government can’t be pro-growth and deliver for our people, planet and communities, without being pro-green”.

Newton-Smith said the move towards net zero can offer “huge emerging markets for new technologies”.

She called on both the main parties to commit to delivering the five steps of the CBI’s Going for Green report, claiming the next government could add as much as £57bn ($72.08bn) to the economy from green growth by 2030.

The five steps include making net zero part of a revitalised pitch for brand Britain, and “whoever forms the next government has to let the world know it is serious about the investment opportunities from net zero”.

Another move could be creating an Office for Net Zero to coordinate across Whitehall departments, with a third being creating a Net Zero Investment Plan, as a way to “outmanoeuvre our competitors [and] using public spending to crowd in private spending”.

Before taking up the CBI role, Newton-Smith was managing director, strategy and policy, sustainability and ESG at Barclays.

The CBI claims to serve as a “catalyst between industry and government to drive positive change [and] speak for businesses of all sizes and sectors across the whole economy, in every UK region and nation”.