Low carbon technologies in a green economy - Energy and Climate Change Contents


238.  The UK must rapidly move towards a greener economy if it is to meet its ambitious climate change targets for 2020 and 2050, and the associated interim carbon budgets. Emissions reduction will be achieved through a combination of measures, including: decarbonising the UK energy supply; domestic and industrial energy efficiency; and low carbon transport solutions. Low carbon technologies have a vital role to play in each of these. There is the potential for these technologies to reduce the carbon intensity of processes at every stage of the energy supply chain—from low carbon energy generation, through storage and transmission, to end user efficiency.

239.  The development of low carbon technologies will require a significant degree of support from both the public and private sector; however, they have the potential to make a very significant contribution to economic growth and job creation in the UK. In 2007/8, there were 881,000 so-called 'green jobs' in the UK's low carbon and environmental goods and services sector. This could potentially grow to over 1.27 million jobs by 2015. There is scope for the rapid creation of local green jobs in every community in the energy efficiency and building technologies sector. In the longer-term, the growth of low carbon industries such as offshore wind and marine energy could revitalise manufacturing in the UK, providing jobs for reskilled workers from the oil and gas sector.

240.  Investment in low carbon technologies must not simply be seen as part of the short-term economic recovery, but also as a means of encouraging sustainable economic growth over the decades to come.

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