London looks forward to 10k new green collar jobs

City Halls efforts to create a greener London could lead to the creation of 10-15,000 green collar jobs and contribute £600m to the capital's annual income by 2025.

A report carried out by Ernst & Young and commissioned by the London Development Agency looked at existing plans to improve energy efficiency in buildings, introduce low carbon vehicles, build a decentralised energy network across London and develop new waste and recycling infrastructure.

The report shows there is big economic value if London continues to build on its existing strengths but warns that competition to attract and keep green businesses 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.

London’s Mayor 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. This report shows the capital is uniquely placed to become a leading low carbon city with all the economic benefits that would bring.

“I am determined that London emerges in the best possible position from the downturn and I’m taking every step required to do so. We are already making our own buildings more energy efficient saving £1 million per year.

“These kinds of things will not only stimulate our economy, but also help to contribute to global efforts to make the changes needed to become a less carbon belching society.’

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 a low carbon centre.

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.

The report also suggests the setting up of a Low Carbon Task Force in London by the Mayor to take forward this work.

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.”

David Gibbs

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