PM says Europe’s most energy efficient economies will win growth race

Businesses that are best insulated from energy price shocks will be the most successful, while the most energy efficient economies in Europe will see the most growth, says David Cameron.

Speaking at the official launch of the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s (DECC) new Energy Efficiency Mission, the Prime Minister said the UK could not afford to overlook green energy.

“Far from being a drag on growth, making our energy sources more sustainable, our energy consumption more efficient, and our economy more resilient to energy price shocks – those things are a vital part of the growth and wealth that we need,” he said.

The comments from Cameron follow heavy criticism that the coalition Government has been discouraging investment in the UK’s green sector, particularly on the back of the chancellors apparent ‘obsession’ with shale gas.

Those in the green sector will welcome the Prime Minister’s remarks. The sector has been pushing for stronger policy and awareness from the Government on key issues such as energy efficiency and climate change.

“It is the businesses that are best insulated from energy price shocks who will be the most successful, it is the consumers who are the least vulnerable to energy prices whose household bills will be the lowest and who can be the most confident about their future.

“It is the countries that prioritise green energy that will secure the biggest share of jobs and growth in a global low carbon sector set to be worth $4tr (£2.5tr) by 2015,” added the Prime Minister.

Cameron went on to highlight Britain’s current position as one of the “best places for green energy, green investment, and crucially for green jobs anywhere in the world”.

He pointed out some of the UK’s achievements in driving a green economy, such as having the world’s number one financial centre for low carbon industries, the world’s first payments for business for generating renewable heat, as well as the launch of the Green Deal and the Green Investment Bank.

Looking back to when he became Prime Minister, Cameron said he was as committed today to being the greenest government ever as when he made the announcement in 2010.

“But I want to go further. I want Greg [Barker] to bring together everything we are doing in one coherent strategy to make Britain the most energy efficient country in Europe.

“I think there’s a huge opportunity. If you look at all the individual things I have mentioned that the government has committed itself to, the whole is much greater than the sum of anyone. I want to bring these together and really explain to the world, and particularly investors, what is available here in Britain”.

He then called on businesses to help drive the UK to an energy efficient future. “You are the companies and contractors that can develop Britain’s expertise in energy efficient technology, you are the global investors who can get behind those companies and pioneer the new financial instruments that can take investment in green energy to the next level, you are the manufacturers who can use this technology to cut their costs, compete, create new jobs and win new contracts for Britain”.

The Prime Minister added that Britain had the potential to become a global showcase for green innovation and energy efficiency.

“Together we can do the right thing for our planet and, just as important, do the right thing for our economy too. With your help on this energy efficient mission we can make sure that now, and in years to come, Britain is open for business, winning in the global race, and doing it in a way that is green too” he added.

Leigh Stringer

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