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Sustainable Growth in the UK: Seizing opportunities from technological change and the transition to a low-carbon economy

Ralf  Martin,  James  Rydge,  Anna  Valero,  December 2018
Paper No' CEPIS07: | Paper 1 (pdf) | Paper 2 (pdf)
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Keywords: Growth; Climate; Climate Change; Industrial Strategy; Productivity; Public Policy; Cities; Transportation; Infrastructure; Skills; Innovation; Growth Commission

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An overarching strategy for sustainable growth is required to address the dual challenges of restoring productivity growth and managing a transition to a low-carbon economy – priorities in both the UK and other G20 countries. Against the backdrop of an uncertain economic climate as the UK recasts its relationship with Europe and the rest of the world, and as countries gather in Poland this month for the 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, a renewed focus on sustainable growth becomes more urgent. Promoting strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth requires improvements in labour and resource productivity via more and better investments in innovation, infrastructure and skills. The UK was influential in the creation of the Paris Agreement on climate change and can now reaffirm its leadership by developing credible institutional and policy frameworks that can drive the right investments for achieving a sustainable growth path.

This special report for the LSE Growth Commission shows why it is sensible for environmental sustainability to be at the heart of the UK's growth strategy and how this can be achieved – with 16 actionable recommendations for the Government. The sustainable growth strategy we outline focuses on four priority policy areas: innovation, infrastructure, skills and cities. These are all areas that are home to the UK's key assets, are recognised as crucial drivers of productivity growth, and are also likely to be determinants of the country's success at managing the transition to a net-zero-carbon economy