Green business leaders remain divided on the scale of the impact environmental and low carbon issues are likely to have on the election campaign, which was formally kicked off yesterday when Prime Minister Gordon Brown confirmed the election would take place on May 6.

Speaking last month, energy and climate change secretary Ed Miliband said that the environment and climate change could emerge as a “top three” issue during the campaign as each party seeks to tout its green credentials. However, he predicted that businesses and the electorate would have to display higher levels of interest in the low carbon economy if the leading parties are to make it a central feature of their campaigning.

Green business leaders are increasingly sceptical that this will be the case and are predicting that low carbon policies will slip down the agenda as politicians choose to focus on the economy.

“What we'd like to see is the whole thing being fought on the architecture of a Green New Deal,” Solarcentury founder Jeremy Leggett told “But the only person who has really articulated that approach so far is Vince Cable. Peter Mandelson talks about a low carbon revolution, but it is not a revolution of a scale anyone on Silicon Valley would recognize.”