The newly-appointed Energy and Climate Change Secretary, Edward Davey, joined the Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, in reiterating the Coalition’s ambition to support green business in the UK, despite the change in leadership at the Department of Energy and Climate Change, following the resignation of Chris Huhne last week.

During a visit to the Building Research Establishment’s Innovation Park near Watford, where the pair met graduates considering careers in green construction, the Deputy Prime Minister said: “The race is on to lead the world in clean, green energy. Last year we saw record-breaking global investment in renewables – outstripping the cash piled into fossil fuels. The new economic powerhouses – China, India, Korea, Brazil – are now serious contenders for that capital.

“So the choice for the UK is simple: wake up, or end up playing catch up. In today’s world the savviest states understand that going for growth means going green. Low-carbon markets are the next frontier in the battle for global pre-eminence.

“We have every reason to be confident. The combination of enviable wind, wave and tidal power, a world-beating research base and a proud history of engineering give the UK a clear competitive edge. So we’re already in pole position. But the reality is: we need to sharpen our elbows if we want to stay ahead.”

The Deputy Prime Minister declared his intention to make the UK the global leader for renewable investment, stating: “I want the UK to be the number one destination for green investment. We’re in this race to win it.”

Edward Davey, a trained economist and an active environmental campaigner, who replaced Chris Huhne in the Cabinet on Friday, outlined his ambitions for his new position: “I have long believed in the need to marry our economic and environmental agendas. Greening the economy isn't just good for the planet – it's good for the wallets, purses and pockets of every British citizen too.

“By focusing on the low carbon industries of the future we can rebalance our economy, reducing our dependence on the City of London on the one hand, and on oil and gas imports from unstable parts of the world on the other.

“My priorities are very simple: green jobs, green growth and getting the best deal for energy bill payers. My department is already implementing bold and ambitious reforms – like electricity market reform and the Green Deal – to unlock private investment, drive innovation and build a resilient, green, competitive economy. It's now my job to see those through.”

Davey concluded: “There may have been a change at the helm, but there'll be no change in direction or ambition.”