UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources


Policies to green the economy must underpinUK recovery: new report

24 February 2014

economy graph (c) pagadesign

The UK urgently needs a green economic strategy to move towards low-carbon prosperity, resource security and environmental quality, says a new report published today by UCL’s Green Economy Policy Commission. 

The Commission (chaired by UCL ISR Director, Professor Paul Ekins) and drawn from a range of academic disciplines across UCL – argues that the UK’s current situation of climate instability and increasing resource constraints mean that decisive action is urgently needed by the UK government to green the economy. 

Greening the Recovery argues that there is a window of opportunity for policies that acknowledge future resource constraints and deliver more sustainable growth. Such policies will address fundamental structural weaknesses and achieve a sounder economic recovery. The report provides a comprehensive overview of the key elements of a green economy. It emphasises that a green economy is not about niche sectors, but about the whole economy. As well as identifying the major challenges for the UK,  it makes a number of specific recommendations for policies to address these.

Greening the Recovery identifies innovation, infrastructure and information as the key areas in which policies are needed to support a green economy, in addition to arguing for environmental fiscal reform and specific policies at UK and EU level to support resource efficiency. 

Read the full press release here

UCL Green Economy Policy Commission activity

  • Read Paul Ekins' comment piece for The Conversation here.
  • Jonathon Porritt, Commission Member and Founding Director of Forum for the Future, blogs on the report here
  • A short film on the UCL Green Economy Policy Commission is available.
  • Greening the Recovery is reported on Why Green Economy? and Click Green
  • The Green Economy Policy Commission was presented at the three main party conferences in autumn 2013. Will McDowall (Senior Adviser to the Commission) offers his reflections on the Liberal Democrat party conference - and sharing a platform with Secretary of State Vince Cable.
  • Professor Paul Ekins (Chair of the Commission) has written a piece for Left Foot Forward setting out the route to a green economy - read it here.

About The UCL Green Economy Policy Commission 

The commission brought together a diverse group of academics from disciplines – including economics, the built environment, engineering, political science, innovation, and resource efficiency – to use their expertise to address the pressing policy challenges of moving to a green economy.

The UCL Green Economy Policy Commission was supported by UCL Public Policy, which seeks to bring UCL’s academic expertise to bear on pressing public policy challenges by integrating knowledge and evidence from across disciplines to inform policy.