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Environmental industry 'vital' to pull economy out of recession

The environmental industry has launched a plan to make Europe's green industry an engine for growth for the European economy, to turn around the current downturn.

The plan, written by the Environmental Industries Commission (EIC), calls for a coordinated economic recovery package of public investment and tax cuts.

US President-Elect Obama is expected to propose a similar range of policies to boost growth in America’s environmental industry.

Plan

The EIC Growth Plan sets out six recommendations to put Europe at the forefront of green enterprise:

  • Developing a strategy to promote the European environmental technology industry.

  • Long-term regulatory targets to support investment and innovation, for example ensuring the EU Emission Trading Scheme is not watered down

  • Support policies: to use public procurement to create 'lead markets' to help environmental technologies scale up, such as low emission commercial buildings.

  • Policy of 'technology diffusion' to mainstream industry - supporting EU Member States to provide tax incentives for companies purchasing environmental technologies.

  • A supportive Research and Development policy - making it much simpler for small companies to access EU R&D funding.

  • Export promotion and development assistance - provide greater support for environmental exporters to understand the demands of overseas markets.

Executive chair of the EIC, Adrian Wilkes said: "The EU's environmental industries can become a new engine of growth that can create millions jobs. However, a sea change in political attitudes is vital to ensure immediate action by the European Union to steer future investment (both public and private) away from financial speculation and into green technologies.

Opportunity

"Europe has only a small window of opportunity if European industry is not to be left behind in the international race to dominate international environmental markets. President Elect Obama, for example, has a raft of detailed policy proposals to make the USA the world leader in environmental industries.

"Investing in the talent of the EU environmental technology industry is vital if we are to avoid climate change and ecological crises that would make today’s financial crisis seem like a tea party!"

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