Today the CBI has put its weight behind the green movement, outlining to the government the massive economy boost which it could trigger by supporting sustainable industries.
This will come as no surprise to governments like China, the USA and Germany who for some time, have been able to buck the global recessionary trend, by supporting green industries and investing in green initiatives. Similarly, in countries like Germany laws have encouraged greener activities.
However I seem to remember, in the past, all sorts of other industries were going to become the magic bullet out of recession. In the sixties prime minister Harold Wilson talked of 'The white heat of technology.' in the 80's we had Hi-tech, followed by Digital, then cool Britannia and the knowledge industries. (I even remember when Mrs Thatcher relaxed fiscal legislation, and generated the banking Big Bang.)
They all worked in their way, but what these economic fads teach us is that it is highly unlikely that just one sector will lead us out of recession. And if we rely on just one industry, we are likely to be disappointed, rather sooner than we expected.
A sustainable economy is, I'm sure, a mixed economy. All of the above still have a part to play, along with our tourist industry, our heritage products (how much Marmite, or Whisky is exported?) and our property industry.
But here's the thing - none of these industries will prosper if energy costs rise. Every industry relies upon cheap transport, low infrastructure costs and the ability to keep a good workforce. That's why green industries are important. Just like you can't have a war without armaments, you can't have a strong economy without the armoury of sustainability.