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‘The free market is crucial to tackling climate change, not green protectionism’

The UK must take advantage of the free market to tackle the climate crisis and reject ‘green protectionism’ according to a new trade report.

The ‘Green Trade’ report by the Board of Trade claims free markets are essential to tackling climate change, as they enable free-flowing information and an increase in green technology.

It also openly rejects ‘green protectionism’, which it states uses environmental aims as a smokescreen to enact damaging policies that stop foreign investment by taxing imports.

The report highlights the need for the UK to promote its green exports and technology overseas, attract foreign investment and use its independent trade policy to allow more green trade to take place; eliminating things that ‘damage the market’ like industrial subsidies.

It goes on to reveal that experts believe the UK’s low carbon economy could grow at an annual rate of 11% between 2015 and 2030, providing up to £170 million of export sales in goods and services by that deadline.

By 2050, more than 1.2 million workers could be employed by low carbon industries in England and the report stresses that a free market is the way to make this happen.

Liz Truss, International Trade Secretary, commented: “The UK is a leader in green exports and this report shows how free trade, free markets and free enterprise can be leveraged to counteract green protectionist policies that hold back the global transition to a low-carbon economy.

“Free enterprise is key to the UK’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, to tackling climate change, and to securing a stronger and freer trading environment that directly supports jobs in regions and nations across the UK.”

“As this report shows, green trade is now the business opportunity of the century, with the potential to create thousands of jobs and substantial returns while also benefitting our planet and future generations.

“With just over 100 days to go until COP26, we have a real opportunity to spell out clearly to the world the benefits of going green, and why the UK is the place to come for sustainable finance”, added William Russell, Lord Mayor of the City of London.

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