Creating a low carbon economy for the Solent region was the key issue for an invited audience of around 60 key leaders from business, education and government. Representatives from more than twenty business members of the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) together with ten local councils from throughout the Solent region and Southampton and Portsmouth Universities attended the seminar entitled ‘Creating a Solent low carbon economy’. The seminar, held at St Mary’s Stadium, Southampton, highlighted the potential and real benefits of building a low carbon or green economy through partnership working including opportunities for investment, technology, innovation and skills by using environmentally cleaner technologies and services.
Key note speaker was the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Rt. Hon. Chris Huhne MP who told the assembled audience that investment in the low carbon sector and ‘green growth’ can help to build a strong and thriving UK and local economy. Other speakers included Dr Graham Floater, Director of the Climate Centre, Ben Earl Environmental Affairs Manager at B&Q, Justin Claxton from Scottish & Southern Energy and Professor Ian Williams from the University of a Southampton.
Host of the seminar, Chairman of the Partnership for Urban South Hampshire (PUSH) & Solent Local Enterprise Partnership Director, Councillor Seán Woodward said:
“This was a great event for building relationships between local government, academia and local businesses in the pursuit of a low carbon economy for the Solent region. Whatever the arguments over the science, if we can create jobs, and also make energy savings and efficiencies through the use of green technologies then everyone will benefit and if we also help the environment that will be a bonus. It’s vital that the Solent region doesn’t miss out on these significant business opportunities.”
The comments, thoughts and ideas put forward by delegates at the seminar will contribute to the development of an action plan that will be produced by PUSH and the Solent LEP to help work towards a ‘low carbon’ economy for the Solent region. The seminar was organised by PUSH and the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership.
From left to right: Phillip Jouy (Managing Director of Warings and Solent LEP Director); Councillor Royston Smith (Leader of Southampton City Council and Solent LEP Director); Councillor Seán Woodward (Chairman of PUSH and Director of Solent LEP); Rt Hon Chris Huhne MP Secretary of State for Energy and Climate); Russell Kew (Chief Executive of WightLink and Solent LEP Director) and Councillor David Pugh (Leader of the Isle of Wight and Solent LEP Director).
Presentations on the day of the event were as follows: