Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the fourth annual BusinessGreen Technology Awards.
Greener than Al Gore’s reusable coffee cup,
More tech-savvy than Elon Musk’s Christmas list,
More competitive than a parliamentary debate on Brexit, (but hopefully considerably less angry),
These awards are a celebration of the very best of British clean technologies, a platform for some of the most inspiring companies operating in the UK, and a chance to reflect on another remarkable year for this most important of sectors.
And what a year it has been.
You have all been busier than Sir Phillip Green’s lawyers – although not always as well remunerated.
The green technology industry has chalked up its first coal-free days since the Industrial Revolution.
Renewable energy records have fallen even more frequently than Brexit Secretaries.
Sales of electric vehicles, energy storage systems, and smart technologies have all soared, despite levels of political instability and economic uncertainty that would shame a Banana Republic.
There is no denying the barriers placed in the path of the clean tech sector and the wider decarbonisation agenda have been shamefully high and depressingly numerous.
Even as wild fires raged from California to Manchester, the President of the United States declared that he is too intelligent to believe climate change is a problem, and that if it is a problem it can be solved with a rake.
Even as heat waves baked the UK and the green economy provided one of the few areas of sustained growth for the UK economy, the Prime Minister could not bring herself to mention