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UK green jobs to rise to a million by 2017, says Brown

Guardian Environment 29th June 2009

PM highlights carbon capture demonstration plants and commitment to build 1,000 wind turbines

Among the many jobs proposed in Gordon Brown's statement today, 400,000 will have a green tinge by 2017. That will take the total British employment in the sector to more than a million.

The prime minister also highlighted some key proposals that will form the basis of the upcoming white paper on energy: four commercial-scale carbon capture and storage demonstration plants for Britain and a commitment to build 1,000 onshore and offshore wind turbines in 2009-10.

"The bill complements the £1.4bn of public investment provided in the budget, and up to £4bn now on offer from the European investment bank," said Brown.

"In addition – following our reforms to the policy, planning and regulatory regimes – we will see between now and 2020 as we meet our renewable energy targets around £100bn invested by the private sector."

Brown also announced an innovation fund: £150m of public money that will be used to attract private sector investment in biotechnology, life sciences, low carbon technologies and advanced manufacturing.

Simon Walker, the chief executive of the British Private Equity and Venture Capital Association, welcomed the innovation fund. "I am convinced that this scheme can make a real difference provided it is implemented with the urgency that it deserves. Venture capital should be in the vanguard of economic recovery in Britain and it now has the change to move from the relative fringe in economic thinking squarely to centre stage."

Richard Barker, the director general of the Association of British Pharmaceutical Industries, said: "The UK's economy and NHS patients need our country to lead in life sciences. Many great discoveries begin in small companies, many of which face an urgent funding crisis. Meeting this need is an important signal of government's intent and a first step towards delivering against an ambitious strategy to put UK life sciences at the forefront of our country's economic and health future."

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