Energy Secretarty Chris Huhne warned of the consequences of a 1970s oil shock: “If the oil price doubled, as from $80 last year to $160 this year, it could lead to a cumulative loss of GDP of around £45 billion over 2 years.
“This is not just far-off speculation: it is a threat here and now. And the faster we move to a low carbon economy, the more secure and stable our economy will be.”
As oil prices increase to well over $100 a barrel, reducing dependence on fossil fuels would help combat rising prices.
Mr Huhne said that green policies would be cheaper in the long term: “Our consumers will be winning hands down. Paying less through low carbon policies than they would pay for fossil fuel policies.”
The Energy Secretary, speaking yesterday to the CentreForum in London, also wanted to remind the audience of the potential for economic gain waiting in the wings.
Mr Huhne said: “This transition to the low carbon economy does not just protect against the threats. It opens up a world of opportunity. The global low-carbon market is worth more than £3 trillion. It is projected to reach £4 trillion by 2015. The UK share of that market is currently worth more than £112 billion. It could be much larger.”