Making the case for green growth economics

The landscape of green growth

The UK is transforming towards a green economy, driven by the need for sustainable, balanced growth that is resilient to future challenges. For some, this is far too slow. For others, too fast.

Either way, we know that the legacy of reliance on unsustainable debt and financial services has highlighted the need for diversification and innovation in new sectors right across the UK. Any government’s growth plans after the 2024 election will be judged by this shift. And any aims to foster a green economy will seek to balance environmental sustainability with economic prosperity. But can this be done?

 

Inevitable direction of travel

Green growth is pivotal for several reasons. It helps manage risks associated with fluctuating fossil fuel prices, enhances resilience against climate change, and opens up new market opportunities both nationally and internationally.

This transition is not confined to traditional green sectors like renewable energy but spans across industries such as automotive, construction and retail, driving innovation and creating new economic opportunities.

It is also underpinning conversations in public services, health, culture, transport, housing and sport.

The benefits of transitioning to a green economy are too many to contain. Businesses can save costs through energy and resource efficiency, while also tapping into the growing market for environmental goods and services. The UK, by positioning itself as a leader in green technologies, can boost its global competitiveness and secure a sustainable future for its industries.

Regional approaches:

Local authorities and economic partnerships across the UK need to be at the forefront of this green transition.

There are lots of projects and initiatives that exemplify the efforts being made to move towards a more sustainable economy. But the reality is that these need to be accelerated and supercharged.

 

East

In the East of England, local councils have been promoting community energy projects. These initiatives involve local communities in the generation and management of renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. These projects not only provide a sustainable energy source but also generate revenue that can be reinvested into local development.

always possible was engaged to design and deliver a green growth sector strategy workshop for Essex County Council, identifying some of the strategic positioning needed to drive sustainable economic growth in Essex.

 

Midlands

The Midlands, historically known for its manufacturing prowess, is now at the heart of green innovation. The region has seen significant investment in green manufacturing technologies, focusing on reducing carbon emissions and enhancing energy efficiency. Initiatives include the development of electric vehicles and sustainable production processes.

always possible is conducting a comprehensive evaluation of the West Midlands Combined Authority funding for green spaces.

A combination of surveys, economic modeling, and stakeholder interviews is helping us to assess how grassroots  and corporate ESG funding might improve the physical condition of green spaces, increase community usage, and promote best practices in green space management and sustainability.

 

London and the south east

London, with its status as a global financial centre, is uniquely positioned to lead in green finance and professional services. Initiatives here focus on developing financial instruments that support sustainable projects and investments. The city aims to become a global hub for green finance, attracting international investments into sustainable ventures.

In recent years, always possible has curated and facilitated the Coastal West Sussex Ideas Exchange, focusing on business and climate action – and the Architecture & Sustainability Summit for Kent County Council.

These events brought together local businesses, policymakers, MPs and experts to discuss and brainstorm on reducing carbon emissions and embracing sustainable practices. The event included presentations from industry leaders, facilitated discussions, and breakout sessions where participants identified barriers and opportunities for green growth in the region.

Key outcomes included the identification of specific support needs for local businesses, such as funding for green initiatives and access to sustainability expertise.

 

 

 

So what?

The transition to a green economy presents both challenges and opportunities. By embracing sustainable practices, businesses and local authorities can drive economic growth, enhance resilience, and create a more sustainable future.

The collaborative efforts of government, businesses, and civil society are crucial in this journey.

The future of the UK’s economy lies in its ability to innovate and adapt. Green growth is not just an environmental necessity but a pathway to long-term economic prosperity.

By beingh deliberate in how we invest in sustainable practices and technologies, the UK can still secure a thriving, resilient economy for future generations.

 

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