Barry Gardiner

Working Hard for Brent North

My Business Green blog: Businesses don't invest in dead tech - so what's the government playing at?

The government continues to peddle a false choice: environment or economy.


It couldn't be more at odds with the world's business leaders, who were gathered this week in Paris for the COP21 Sustainable Innovation Forum.

Our future is low carbon and adapting our energy consumption accordingly should be an urgent economic priority. To delay the transition - or worse, step backwards - is economically, as well as environmentally, illiterate.

Between 2010-13, employment in the UK offshore wind sector grew by eight per cent each year. For onshore it was 10 per cent. Solar was double that. This compares with growth in general national employment of only 1.6 per cent per annum.

In 2013, the UK low carbon sector, including its supply chain, employed more than 400,000 people. Over the next 20 years, offshore wind alone could increase UK GDP by £20bn a year by 2030 and create 70,000 more jobs.

But the UK government is on track to becoming the one that stopped British business taking its place at the forefront of the Clean Industrial Revolution that will characterise the 21st Century.

The message from businesses here at the Paris climate talks is clear: if Britain is to restore its reputation as a business leader and an economic powerhouse, the government needs to give its energy policies a major policy overhaul.

It's time for the UK to get on board: responsible, sustainable investment doesn't cost the earth - but delaying it just might.

Here's my blog for Business Green today:



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