The Colour of Growth report released by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), the UK's largest business lobby group, shows how a further push towards green growth could add more than £20 billion to the UK economy by 2014-2015.
Here is the Executive Summary :
With the current levels of economic uncertainty, and prospects of only modest growth in the UK, it is easy to understand why some people are fearful that ‘going green’ might further dent the economic recovery. For me, this is a false debate.
In this report, the CBI makes clear the case for tackling head-on the critical challenges of energy security, affordability and climate change. It isn’t a lofty ideal to aspire to – there is a hard-nosed economic argument that moving to a low-carbon economy can drive significant business investment and create many new jobs across the country.
This is happening now, in every sector, in every region, and if we can build on these foundations, it can be a catalyst to transform our export figures and rebalance our economy over the long-term. ‘Green’ and ‘growth’ can go hand-in-hand, but in the current situation there are no guarantees. If the UK is to reach its full potential as a global green market leader, we have to be smarter in our approach.
Building confidence in new technologies and markets is essential to get ahead of the game. But if we can’t be sure that the policies of today will be the policies of tomorrow, investors will simply spend their money elsewhere. The UK also needs to address the complexity of its policies – to encourage those ready to invest, rather than confuse them.
Finally, we need to think more strategically if we are to make this low-carbon transition a reality and ensure it works for all business sectors. If we cut carbon emissions, but harm those very energy intensive industries at the heart of the low-carbon transition, then we will have failed. Helping them with the impact of carbon prices is an integral part of the low-carbon revolution.
If we can make the right choices, the UK has the potential to earn a significant prize – grabbing our share of a growing global market and injectingaround £20 billion into the economy. Let’s not wastethis opportunity.