Policies to green the economy must underpin UK recovery: New report

February 24th, 2014 in Earth / Environment

The UK urgently needs a green economic strategy to move towards low-carbon prosperity, resource security and environmental quality, says a new report published today by UCL's Green Economy Policy Commission.

The Commission – drawn from a range of academic disciplines across UCL – argues that the UK's current situation of climate instability and increasing resource constraints mean that decisive action is urgently needed by the UK government to green the economy.

Greening the Recovery argues that there is a window of opportunity for policies that acknowledge future resource constraints and deliver more sustainable growth. Such policies will address fundamental structural weaknesses and achieve a sounder economic recovery. The report provides a comprehensive overview of the key elements of a green economy. It emphasises that a green economy is not about niche sectors, but about the whole economy. As well as identifying the major challenges for the UK, it makes a number of specific recommendations for policies to address these.

Professor Paul Ekins, Chair of the UCL Green Economy Policy Commission, said: "The recent floods and appalling weather conditions should remind policy makers of the dangers and risks of failing to take action to mitigate environmental threats. The report's recommendations are intended to enhance the UK's resource and environmental security, and contribute to the global imperative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

"In addition, the report suggests that, by taking action to green the economy, the UK can address existing weaknesses in innovation and investment, positioning itself to be an international leader in eco-innovation, and building a resilient economy with the conditions for sustained and long-term growth. We hope that policymakers and politicians will recognise the urgent need to act and will show the policy leadership that the UK needs to commit to a greener economy."

Greening the Recovery identifies innovation, infrastructure and information as the key areas in which policies are needed to support a green economy, in addition to arguing for environmental fiscal reform and specific policies at UK and EU level to support resource efficiency.

The report's keynote findings are:

Provided by University College London

"Policies to green the economy must underpin UK recovery: New report." February 24th, 2014. http://phys.org/news/2014-02-policies-green-economy-underpin-uk.html