UCL Public Policy


Green Economy Policy Commission

The UCL Green Economy Policy Commission (completed), led by Prof Paul Ekins (UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources), brings together a diverse group of academics with expertise in economics, the built environment, engineering, political science, innovation, and resource efficiency to consider how the UK might implement policies that will support a ‘green economy’ – that is, an economy which is low-carbon, resource-efficient, and supports a healthy, diverse environment and a high quality of life.

By adopting multiple perspectives and a range of expertise, the Commission seeks to explore the frameworks and high-level policy approaches by which the Government could pursue a green economy and ensure the UK’s international competitiveness in terms of innovation and infrastructure development. The Commission has also engaged politicians, policymakers and business representatives in its discussions.

The Commission concludes that: a new information system on material and resource use in the economy is needed; that the development of infrastructure to support the deployment of low-carbon technology should be a priority; that Government has an important role in driving green innovation through an active green industrial strategy; and that a clear long-term pathway should be set to encourage business investment in the green economy. As the UK starts to show signs of economic recovery, the time is right for government to accelerate that recovery by setting out a coherent economic strategy for the 21st century, one rooted in resource efficiency, climate stability and environmental quality.

Commission activity

  • Read Prof 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 – here
  • Prof 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

The Commission core group

  • Paul Ekins (Chair) – Professor of Resources and Environmental Policy and Director, UCL Institute of Sustainable Resources
  • Michelle Baddeley – Professor in Economics and the Built Environment, UCL Bartlett School of Construction and Project Management
  • Francesca Medda – Professor in Transport and Infrastructure Studies, UCL Civil, Environmental & Geomatic Engineering
  • Will McDowall – Research Associate in Bioenergy and Hydrogen, UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources
  • Lars Nesheim – Reader in Economics, UCL Economics
  • Tom Burke – Visiting Professor, Centre for Law & the Environment, UCL Laws
  • Michael Jacobs – Visiting Professor, UCL School of Public Policy
  • Jonathon Porritt – Honorary Professor, Office of the UCL Vice-Provost (Research)
  • Dimitri Zenghelis – Co-Head, Policy, LSE Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment