UK Needs Green Growth

UK politician Chris Huhne has warned that the UK's economic growth strategy will fail unless "green growth" is pursued by investing in industries such as energy efficiency and clean energy.

Writing in the Guardian, the UK’s former Energy and Climate Change minister said: "Much of our economic debate implies we must choose between going green or going for growth. That view may be the opposite of the truth. There is now hard evidence that the real choice is between green growth or no growth at all."

Huhne argues that we face an unprecedented situation where developed countries are in recession while energy prices are increasing.

Previously in such circumstances lower demand from richer nations would have reduced prices, but now prices are being driven up by Asia’s growth "on a scale never before experienced in economic history".

Huhne writes that it would be "rash" to bank on prices falling in future.
"Energy-saving is the win-win: it has the potential for job creation and it supports growth by cutting bills and boosting spendable income," he adds.

"There is a facile view that our green commitments – to tackling climate change, avoiding air and water pollution, protecting natural habitats – are an obstacle to growth. The message of the commodity markets is surely different. Resource-hungry growth could rapidly stall due to commodity price rises, simply because so many of us now want it. If we want sustainable growth, we do not have a choice. We must go green."

Picture of Chris Huhne by David Spender [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Monday 7th May 2012

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