As the ink dries on the world climate change agreement drafted at COP21 in Paris last month, experts from science, technology, law and finance are coming together today at Cranfield University (Bedfordshire) for the first Science for the Green Economy debate.

The ‘green economy’, an economy that reduces environmental risks and aims for sustainable development without degrading the environment, has been identified as a key contributor to economic resurgence and growth in the UK and across the world. Globally, it is estimated to be worth £3.4 trillion, and growing at 4% per annum.

Opportunities for a green economic boom lie ahead including jobs, export and clean technological innovations. The first national debate in Science for the Green Economy seeks to explore technology and management issues, including the disruptive innovations and the policy and regulatory environment in which the new technologies might thrive.

The debate will be chaired by Cranfield University’s Professor Paul Leinster CBE former Environment Agency CEO and will include contributions from Hayden Morgan (UK Green Investment Bank), Ben Ritchie (Aberdeen Asset Management), Alison Carter (ENDS Report), Julian Richardson (Parhelion Underwriting Ltd) as well as experts in law, the circular economy, corporate responsibility, and emissions reducing energy technology.

Professor Simon Pollard, Pro-Vice Chancellor of Cranfield’s School of Energy, Environment and Agrifood, said: “It is clearer than ever that we must move responsibly towards a low carbon economy. In order to do so we must consider the big picture as well as the finer details of how this is delivered in the UK and worldwide. This two-day event will build on the successful seminar series hosted by Cranfield University and global law firm Herbert Smith Freehills.”

Julie Vaughan, Senior Associate at Herbert Smith Freehills LLP, who is co-sponsoring the event at Cranfield, said: “Clean tech and the green economy present significant investment opportunities in the post-COP21 world, but they need cradling in a favourable regulatory environment. Let's rekindle the buzz around their potential to both generate growth and further the sustainability agenda.

A green city
Science for the Green Economy

Notes for editors

About Herbert Smith Freehills

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About Cranfield University

Cranfield University is a specialist postgraduate university that is a global leader for education and transformational research in technology and management.

Environment and Agrifood at Cranfield

For the past 50 years, Cranfield has been contributing to enhancing natural capital and ensuring that global food systems are more resilient for the future. We are recognised worldwide by industry, government and academe for our research and teaching in plants, soil, water and air.

We believe that environmental problems can be alleviated through technological innovation and risk management.

Cranfield is a key partner in two of the four UK Government-sponsored Agri-tech Centres – Agri-Epi (Agricultural Engineering Precision Innovation Centre) and CHaP (Crop Health and Protection), with over £10 million invested in new infrastructure since 2017.

Our education, research and consultancy is enhanced by our world-class facilities including the National Reference Centre for Soils, which houses the largest collection of its kind in Europe and is recognised as the UK’s definitive source of national soils information, and our big data visualisation suite, which has tools to analyse big data collections including environmental resources from 280 countries/territories worldwide.

In 2017, Cranfield was awarded the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for research and education in large-scale soil and environmental data for the sustainable use of natural resources in the UK and worldwide, the first time in the Prize’s history that an award has been given for soil science.