Green Business is good business

Chris Pook, head of the new Green Economy Team at the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS), which leads government work on how to develop the green economy, has said that “being green doesn’t mean being anti-business, but pro-business”.

This view was aimed at addressing critics of government policy who are concerned that the long-term benefits of investment in the green economy are not worth the short-term costs.

His comments were delivered at the Low Carbon Communities for Future Growth conference at the QEII Centre in London last month (28 February 2012), where the emphasis was that all business had a crucial role to play in the transition to a green economy, in developing jobs, skills and growth in environmental goods and services (EGS) and across the board.

In a brave quote from the Stern Review (a review commissioned by the Treasury under Gordon Brown but now buried on the BIS website) in which Nicholas Stern famously pronounced that “the costs of doing nothing are far greater in the long-term than investing now”.

There are some easy winners by investing now, which are illustrated by Marginal Abatement Cost Curve (MACC) model developed by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), which shows local travel and community energy-saving are easy winners but the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), zero carbon homes and decarbonising car transport will require greater investment up front.

Over the past two weeks since the conference, there have been encouraging signs of progress to drive forward to a low-carbon economy with BIS and DECC making the right moves with the Green Deal and the Green Investment Bank together with other government initiatives that will enhance the growth of the supply chain capability.

More from the Low Carbon Communities for Future Growth conference can be found at

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