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Sunday Telegraph: Green business ‘could be worth $1 trillion’

EXTRACT: …the campaign group added that it wants Shell to “seriously diversify into renewable energy” rather than “putting its efforts into bragging about being green”.


By Liam Halligan (Filed: 08/10/2006)

New research suggests that global commerce could receive a ($1 trillion) £530bn boost from “green business” over the next five years as concerted international action creates large markets for technologies and products designed to tackle climate change.

A study commissioned by Shell quantifies for the first time the scale of the commercial opportunities presented by future efforts to reduce carbon emissions – from energyefficient power generation and manufacturing to building insulation and financial services.

The report, to be launched this week, a copy of which has been seen by The Sunday Telegraph, estimates the UK’s share of this market, currently £2.1bn per year, will expand to £15bn by 2010.

“Tackling climate change is a necessity, but if nations act there is a big opportunity for the growing number of UK firms working on solutions in this area,” said Robin Smale, author of the report and a long-standing government adviser on climate change.

“It is not all about putting up windmills,” he said. “Addressing this problem involves a whole range of potentially lucrative manufacturing and energy-saving innovations.”

Smale and co-author Cameron Hepburn, a Fellow in Climate Policy at Oxford University, have estimated the cost of reining in carbon emissions to the extent required to stabilise global temperatures. The authors admit “significant uncertainties remain, including the nature of the relationship between carbon concentration and temperature”.

But they argue: “While there are costs to reducing carbon emissions, the flipside is a market for climate change technologies and services worth something like a trillion dollars by 2010 and much more after that.” The report – published by Shell Springboard, a branch of the oil company set up to tackle climate change – will be launched on Thursday.

“The solutions to climate change are within our grasp,” said James Smith, Shell’s UK chairman. “Companies big and small that have vision and creativity stand to win as international momentum grows to tackle climate change.”

Friends of the Earth said it is “crucial [that] businesses respond to this challenge” and called for the Government to provide “a stable legal and regulatory framework to encourage the necessary energy-saving investments”.

But the campaign group added that it wants Shell to “seriously diversify into renewable energy” rather than “putting its efforts into bragging about being green”. Shell last year put 1.1 per cent of its total capital investment in renewable energy sources compared to 69 per cent looking for new oil and gas reserves.

“Tackling this climate change problem is not a zero-sum game,” said Mark Woodall, who runs Climate Change Capital, a UK investor in green business opportunities with more than £1bn under management. “With the right policy, we can use this challenge to create more wealth through increased efficiencies,” he said. “More mainstream fund managers, pension funds and insurers are beginning to understand this – they can do good and make money at the same time.”

Gordon Brown, the chancellor, highlighted the potential economic gains from tackling climate change in his speech at the Labour conference. “I believe the greatest expansion in new jobs can come from the environment,” he said.

“Governments everywhere have been too slow to recognise the threats. But 100,000 new British jobs could be created in this area.” and its sister non-profit websites,,,,,, and are owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia feature.

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