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Climate change action 'doesn't impede economic growth'

Schemes designed to tackle climate change shouldn't be avoided over fears they will negative impact on the economy, according to the UK's energy and climate change minister.

During a speech in India, Ed Davey said it was a myth that policymakers were required to make a choice between building an environmentally-sustainable future and strong gross domestic product (GDP), insisting the two can go hand-in-hand.

"I want to change the assumption that we, or India, need to choose between the environment on the one hand and growth and development on the other," he noted, citing one of India's fastest-growing cities - Ahmedabad - as a recent example of how this is the case.

The industrial trading hub has gone from being the third most polluted city in the country in 2005 to receiving environmental awards in recognition of its efforts to change things around, while GDP has continued to grow at a rate of ten per cent every year.

Mr Davey told his audience the UK was also moving towards a greener economy, driving innovation and technology while also pushing for more ambitious European targets for the reduction of carbon emissions and energy useage.

An example of this can be seen in the government's recently-terminated Green Deal Home Improvement Fund, which offered homeowners the opportunity to claim cashback when they invested in energy-efficient measures for their property like solid wall insulation.

Ministers have also been working to raise awareness among businesses as well, highlighting how organisations can make significant long-term savings by lowering the amount of power they consume.

Mr Davey said one of the main trends that was now moving in favour of this attitude was the fact that green technology was becoming cheaper to implement, stating that "innovation will be the key".

However, many parties have recently criticised the European Union's latest energy targets for not being high enough, suggesting that there was still plenty to be done before climate change can be properly addressed.

Posted by Helen Hughes