That was the message from Kitty Ussher, economic secretary to the treasury, when she spoke to members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) last week.

She called for the city to capitalise on the growth in the global carbon trading market to strengthen its position as a world financial centre.

Ms Ussher said: “The UK’s wealth of expertise in this area, its position in international discussions on tackling climate change, experience of policy solutions such as trading and its well-developed financial services system, presents real opportunities.

“I want to see London becoming the global centre for carbon trading.

“That will be good news for the financial services sector and will bring further jobs and opportunities across the UK, as well as helping to protect the environment for future generations.”

She said carbon trading is an important way of tackling climate change, but can only be fully effective if a global price, and a global market, is created.

Ms Ussher said: “The simple, market-based concept of putting a price on carbon makes people notice and think about the emissions they are causing and it means that emissions can be reduced where it is most efficient.

“Carbon trading will provide further opportunities for a green and growing economy and will lead to more investment in clean technology and in energy efficiency, something that will benefit us all now and in the future.”

The global carbon trading market is already worth $30billion a year and analysts expect this to increase significantly.

The Government has called for the EU Emissions Trading Scheme to be strengthened and expanded, and to eventually link to other schemes in other countries to create a global market.

London is already an internationally-recognised hub for carbon finance with a significant share of trading already taking place in the city.

Kate Martin

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