Report suggests green business can add £600m to London economy

Plans to cut energy and tackle climate change could bring 10-15,000 jobs and contribute £600m a year to the capital's economy by 2025, according to a report.

The Ernst and Young report outlines the opportunities to grow jobs and businesses if London can get to the forefront of the global green economy. The report, which was commissioned by the London Development Agency, bases its figures on the Mayor’s existing plans to make buildings more energy efficient, build waste and recycling plants, introduce low carbon vehicles and the building of a decentralised energy network across London.

London already has some key strengths in this new green economy sector – it is currently the leading centre for carbon trading globally, has 75 AIM listed clean tech companies alongside 14 universities and 80 university departments focused on climate change research and development. This report shows there is big economic value if London continues to build on its existing strengths. However competition to attract and keep green businesses in the capital from cities and countries across the world is increasing rapidly and London and the UK will need to take action now if they are to retain its leading edge.

Boris Johnson said: ‘I see the green economy as an unprecedented opportunity not only to improve our planet and our quality of life, but to develop new industries and create new jobs in an economic climate that is otherwise extremely difficult. There are clear opportunities for London to create jobs and wealth by pursuing programmes to save energy and cut carbon".

A number of countries – the US, China and Germany – have announced economic stimulus packages that include a low carbon focus. Other cities such as Singapore, Stockholm, Toronto and Tokyo are also positioning themselves to lead as low carbon centres.  For example, Singapore is offering a mix of tax incentives and direct capital investment  to target clean technology funds. The report concludes that London can rise to this challenge, if national, regional and local government and the private sector create the right tax, financial and planning conditions to seize this opportunity.

Peter Bishop, London Development Agency Director for Design, Development and Environment, said: "Establishing London as the leading low carbon city is an ambitious but feasible aspiration. By responding to climate change, we can attract major long-term investment, create new jobs and address the needs of some of the most vulnerable Londoners through our new energy efficiency programmes. This is one of the LDA's most important priorities."

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