Government establishes new forum to drive green economy

A new forum for steering the UK towards a greener economy had its first meeting today (February 16) in London.

Council chairman Vince Cable MP

Council chairman Vince Cable MP

Chaired by business secretary, Vince Cable, the Green Economy Council aims to focus industries on how it can work with government to support the transition to a green, low carbon economy.

The first meeting's agenda covered the green economy roadmap, the Government's long term strategy on climate change and the environment, which is being developed by all three departments and will be published in the spring.

Mr Cable said the council was 'uniquely' positioned to bring together ministers from three key departments - the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS), the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

Alongside the Government's department industry leading firms including IBM, Centrica and John Lewis also took part in the meeting.

The council is due to meet three times a year, with working groups to examine specific issues.

Mr Cable said: "The transition to a green economy brings both opportunities and challenges that we need to tackle now to achieve sustainable growth and meet climate change targets.

"I'm delighted we have attracted top business leaders from key sectors to join us on the Green Economy Council and help us develop these policies.

"We need to minimise the burdens on business and industry during this transition, while we create the necessary conditions for green growth and investment in the green economy."

Giving the business perspective British Gas parent firm Centrica's managing director for new markets, Gearoid Lane, added: "The green economy will be a very significant platform for growth, offering the prospect of many thousands of new jobs.

"Over the next two years alone, in British Gas we will be taking on an additional 2,900 people into 'green collar' roles.

"I am delighted to join the Green Economy Council, which I hope will be able to play a proactive role in advising on how to realise the benefits available for the UK."

Luke Walsh


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