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Commission on environmental markets and economic performance announced

by Mel Starrs on November 9, 2006

in News, Uncategorized

Defra news release:

Details of a review of how the UK can make the most of the key opportunities that environmental protection can present for wealth creation and employment growth were released by the Government today (Wed).

Environment Secretary David Miliband and Trade and Industry Secretary Alistair Darling will jointly chair a Commission on Environmental Markets and Economic Performance. Members of the Commission will be drawn from business, NGO’s, academia, trade unions and public sector organisations.

It will report to Government next spring, and will make recommendations on how to further stimulate sectors that can make a significant contribution to environmental outcomes and productivity.

The new Commission will be able to draw on the latest figures for the size of the environmental goods and services sector, published today by the joint Defra-DTI funded Environmental Industries Unit. These confirm a current annual turnover for the sector of more than £25 billion (based on 2004 data) and estimate that this will increase to more than £34 billion by 2010 and £46 billion by 2015.

Mr Miliband said:

“Climate change is a serious threat but also a business opportunity. There are jobs and wealth to be created in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, as there are in tackling other environmental problems.

“In a world where energy and carbon emissions are constrained, every business must take resource productivity seriously as a source of competitive advantage. Every industry should become an environmental industry – and environmental principles must permeate beyond traditional environmental sectors.

“This Commission will use its diverse expertise to investigate how the environmental goods and services sector might evolve in this direction in future, and the roles of both Government and business in bringing about that transition.”

Mr Darling said:

“The Stern analysis has made our choice clear: either transform our economy to reduce our impact on the environment or face a far higher cost if we fail to act until too late.

“The whole world must move to a low carbon economy. This green industrial revolution presents the opportunity for new goods, new services, new capital markets and new jobs. We need to harness the opportunities to make sure British business leads this revolution.

“Our recent report shows these industries could double in size in the next decade to £46bn in the UK alone.

“The Commission we’re setting up today will draw on a wide range of experience from industry, academia and the unions to look at how we make the most of our excellence in science, technology and innovation to meet this challenge.”

It will build on the work of the business-led Environmental Innovations Advisory Group (EIAG), which has today published a report on making the UK the best place in the world for environmental innovation. The Report sets out EIAG’s analysis of the issues and solutions, and progress in tackling barriers to innovation in key areas such as regulation, finance, technology and skills.