British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said in London on Wednesday that the upcoming G20 summit, with its focus on financial reform and global economic cooperation, has room for low carbon economy.
Miliband made the remarks in his address to 85 business people and organizations gathered to discuss an international marketing strategy on the UK's low carbon business overseas, and to attract inward investment.
He said that the low carbon agenda will be discussed at the forthcoming London Summit, saying that "the focus of the G20 is going to be on financial reform on macro economic coordination, but I certainly think there's room for it to give signal on the importance of the low carbon agenda that requires regulation."
Miliband said that the regulation comes from the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the global negotiating body which concludes its work in Copenhagen in December.
He said that ever since the Stern Report, people have realized that a sustainable economic future has to be a low carbon future, and the costs of postponing action are far greater than the cost of action itself.
Urging firms in the country to seize opportunities in the growing market for low carbon exports, Miliband said that it is important to take every opportunity to say that "despite the recession this is a time to go green."
"A sustainable economic future has to be a low carbon future. We've seen the damage than can come from 147-US-dollar-a-barrel oil, I think it's very very important that we understand the first movers into low carbon are going to be beneficiaries," he noted.
Though Britain is not at the forefront of all industries, the foreign minister said, the country has got real strengths and "this is a major opportunity for the UK despite the fact that we're living through an economic downturn."
"One of the fastest growing markets in the future is going to be in environmental industries," Miliband said.
He said that there are about 400,000 people in green jobs and this is a very fast growing sector of the economy or has been over the last ten years.
The global market value of low carbon environmental goods and services was over 3 trillion pounds (about US$4.35 trillion) in 2007/2008, of which the UK's share was 3.5 percent or 107 billion pounds (about 155.15 billion dollars).
(Xinhua News Agency March 26, 2009)