This is the key message of a report backed by the TUC, the Federation of Master Builders, Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg and Greenpeace.

The report claims that over 50,000 jobs could be created through an energy efficiency programme which would also help cut the carbon emissions from buildings.

The report claims that an annual £5 billion investment in domestic energy efficiency would create around 55,000 jobs directly and hundreds of thousands of jobs would be created indirectly.

It says that every year it would reduce emissions of carbon dioxide by about 1.6 million tonnes while also addressing fuel poverty.

The report coincides with research from New Economics Foundation (Nef) showing that new funding for greening the economy amounts to just 0.6% of the UK’s total stimulus package.

Gordon Brown recently claimed to the House of Commons liaison committee that around 10% of the UK package was directed towards “environmentally important technologies”.

While Nef found new and additional spending on a green economy comes to just £120 million while the car industry is set to receive £2.3 billion – almost 20 times as much as new government investment in a green new deal.

Nick Clegg said: “As thousands of people lose their jobs every month and more businesses go under, there’s a danger that green issues will slip off the agenda, but in fact protecting the environment offers us the best route to economic recovery.

“Action taken now to insulate schools, hospitals and homes would create thousands of jobs, protect the environment and help families struggling to pay their fuel bills.

“The extra money we borrow during the recession to stimulate the economy must be invested in projects that create jobs and build green infrastructure that will benefit us all in the future.”

Andrew Simms of Nef said: “We face a unique alignment of economic and environmental interests. Investing in rapid transition away from the UK’s fossil fuel dependence could provide a parachute for a troubled economy.

“But, it feels like the government has cut the parachute strings and pushed green energy, efficiency and conservation from the plane.”

Sam Bond

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie