By Max Clarke

The Coalition Government’s drive to be ‘the greenest government ever’ has fallen far from its targets, the Trades Union Congress said today.

Currently some 900,000 are directly and indirectly employed in the low carbon economy, adding some £112bn to the treasury. But, argue the TUC, the government has not done enough to actively persuade or incentivise businesses to adopt more environmentally friendly practices, preventing this crucial industry from developing further.

“Ministers have provided few clues on how to encourage 'green' manufacturing, especially for energy intensive industries like steel, aluminium, ceramics and chemicals,” said TUC General Secretary, Brendan Barber.

Barber cited the example of Germany, whose commitment last year to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2020 is actively being pursued by government tax breaks and subsidies for green industries, enhanced focus on green education and a host of proactive measures.

As a result of this focused action, Germany currently leads the world in photovoltaic research and production and is a major player in the field of wind turbines. Thousands of jobs are supported in the burgeoning low carbon industry, adding a considerable boost to Germany’s economy.

“The government needs to show more leadership on the economy, otherwise the opportunities for green growth - and the hundreds of thousands of jobs it could provide - will simply pass the UK by,” concluded Barber.

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