U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown told business leaders to prepare for a technological revolution and embrace the opportunities available in tackling climate change.
Speaking at the Prince of Wales Business Summit in London today, Brown said that the fight against climate change could help create jobs, increase exports and "liberate the creativity and innovation of British companies and British communities."
"The overall added value of the low carbon energy sector by 2050 could be as high as $3 trillion per year worldwide, employing more than 25 million people," Brown said. "If Britain maintains its share of this growth there could be over a million people employed in our environmental industries within the next two decades.
"So building our own low carbon economy offers us the chance to create thousands of new British businesses and hundreds of thousands of new British jobs," continued Brown.
The Prime Minister listed a number of areas in which the U.K. is driving progress, from research on carbon capture and storage to financing mechanisms to help developing nations cut their greenhouse gas emissions. Other measures, such as encouraging supermarkets to charge for plastic bags, are also having an impact, he said.
The Climate Change Bill contains proposals to make the U.K. the first country to put into legislation a statutory cap on emissions, while a separate White Paper aims to create regulation that promotes innovation and give priority to low-carbon and sustainable products in procurement policies.
The Prime Minister said his vision was for a green economy providing new jobs, powered by business innovation and driven by changes in consumer behavior.