Public Release: 

Government and business are missing the green wave

Economic & Social Research Council

The research formed part of the largest social science research initiative ever in the UK, the ESRC's £15 million Global Environmental Change Programme (GECP). Three accessible reports summarising the Programme's findings are presented in the House of Commons today at a meeting hosted by the Environmental Audit Select Committee. The documents are also being launched on the UK's leading web site on environmental social science -- www.gecko.ac.uk.

Dr Frans Berkhout, Director of the GECP, said: 'Many businesses have adopted greener management but this has not yet reached the heart of the innovation process. There are tremendous opportunities in a period of rapid technological change. The UK is in danger of missing the green wave'.

Dr Paul Ekins of Keele University said: 'There is an important role for Government. Businesses respond to market signals and incentives. Government should be setting tough strategic goals backed up by strong regulation and an integrated set of incentives including environmental taxes. Despite globalisation and liberalisation, Government can still have a big influence in guiding and enabling innovation'.

Professor Dennis Anderson, former chief economist at Shell and Fellow of the GECP said: 'Having lost our lead in wind power technology, the UK is in danger of missing out on fuel cells, solar energy, and the next generation of cleaner cars as well. We need to use innovation to transform the options available for solving environmental problems, and to put British companies at the cutting edge of new global markets at the same time'.

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The launch for policy-makers and journalists is at 2pm in Committee Room 16, House of Commons. This press release is accompanied by a five page feature. Both are available at www.gecko.ac.uk.

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