Not all custard pies at low carbon summit

While the custard covering of a senior politician by an angry activist inevitably stole the headlines at Friday's Low Carbon Summit, the event also demonstrated once again that Government is keen to show it thinks the business and environmental agendas can work hand in hand.

The summit will be remembered for Peter Mandelson being coated in custard but it is also worth recording the fact that the Business Secretary took another step towards dismissing the myth that business and environmental concerns need to be at loggerheads.

Companies working in the low carbon and environmental sector contributed over £100bn to the UK economy last year and now employ over 880,000 workers.

“Low carbon is not a sector of our economy, it is, or will be, our whole economy, and a global market,” said Mr Mandelson.

“Today we are asking what more needs to be done to ensure these changes benefit the UK economy, and what needs to be done to equip British companies to compete for low carbon business in Britain and overseas.

“A low carbon industrial strategy must seize the opportunities that will come with change. That requires a new industrial activism for a new green industrial revolution.”

Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband added: “Tackling climate change doesn’t just make moral sense, it makes economic sense too.

“The shift to low carbon in the UK, and around the world is now largely inevitable.

“What is not inevitable is that Britain benefits industrially from the transition. We want to mobilise every bit of expertise and ingenuity that Britain has to offer.

“Moving to a low carbon economy is the way to secure the economic recovery and growth we need at home and take a lead internationally to protect the future of the planet.”

Government used the event to announce its Low Carbon Industrial Strategy which aims to put energy efficiency at the fore of environmental efforts, look at ways to help Britain become a world leader in development of low carbon vehicles, reduce the carbon emissions from energy generation and ensure workers have skills necessary to compete in global markets in this area.

Sam Bond

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