Climate change is a matter of concern for many of us, despite some individuals continuing to dismiss its relevance or existence. Regardless of which side of the fence you find yourself on, one thing cannot be denied: the effort being put in to tackling climate change is having a positive impact on economic growth, particularly in London.
A report published by the Mayor’s Office in early September shows there are currently more than 9,200 businesses in London providing employment for some 163,500 individuals in the Low Carbon and Environmental Goods and Services (LCEGS) sector. Boris Johnson, always the advocate of ‘green living’ as he cycles around the capital with his blonde, flowing locks safely guarded under his bicycle helmet, believes the 2.4% increase in London’s green economy since 2009/10 proves just how big an impact climate change can have on our economy.
The LCEGS sector
The report focuses on the LCEGS sector in London and the findings show this industry contributes a considerable £25.4 billion to the city’s economy, with a green growth of approximately 10% over the previous 2 years and a predicted 6% annual growth in the coming years. In addition to the carbon finance sub-sector, London is increasing its efforts in renewable energies and low carbon technologies, according to Johnson’s environment advisor, Mathew Pencharz.
Mayor Johnson is keen to make his city one of the world’s most sustainable, stating “London is becoming the ‘one-stop shop’ for low carbon and environmental services – providing the goods, skills and financing every city needs to make its transition to a low carbon, resource efficient economy.”
Some could say that Boris has been prone to little hyperbole in the past, but on this occasion he’s not far off the mark – London accounts for approximately one fifth of the UK’s £128.1 billion LCEGS sales and the city’s green sector is ahead of the country’s overall green economy rate of 4.8%.
The economic opportunities of green growth could attract a number of businesses to the UK and opens the door for a wealth of new start-ups and initiatives. As the city adapts to climate change and various environmental factors, London is looking to tackle these issues head on and capitalise on what could otherwise be a damaging situation. By diversifying in response to climate change, London is focusing its efforts on improving quality of life, creating jobs and boosting the strength of the UK economy as a whole.
These recent findings and the importance of securing a green economic future for the UK will be discussed later this month at the TUC conference Green Growth: no turning back. Taking place on Monday 21st October at Congress House, London, this event will focus on the importance of a low carbon future, maximizing opportunities for green growth and how best to tackle the very real challenge of climate change.
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