Speaking to Real Buiness, Benn says: “The environmental industry, in a broad sense, is worth £25bn a year, employs 400,000 people and it’s forecast to double in the next few years.
“It shows what is possible and I really hope more people will get into them. There are tales of success, innovation and new engineering to be told. It’s a great success story; this is the low-carbon revolution.”
Benn is convinced that in the future “successful economies are going to be low carbon”. While some studies indicate the cost of going green is putting some small businesses off, Benn doesn’t think it should be an issue: “There’s going to be a temptation in these circumstances for some people to say ‘the economy has to come first and the environment is going to have to wait for a bit’… I think that would be a profound mistake."
He cites the Stern Report and the compelling economic argument for acting now to combat climate change. “Who’s up for spending more later?” he asks.
“If you stop and contemplate what the consequence of runaway climate change would be, the economic impact would be devastating.”