A �150 billion programme to create five million "green collar" jobs set out by US Presidential victor Barack Obama will leave the UK trailing in the global race to capitalise on environmental technologies.

Obama has pledged to convert manufacturing centres into clean technology leaders through a federal investment programme, including support for car companies to retool to create new fuel-efficient cars.

Other plans include a green jobs corps for disconnected youth to improve energy conservation and efficiency of homes and buildings in local communities as well as a doubling of federal science and research funding for clean energy projects.

The Environmental Industries Commission (EIC), which represents more than 330 green technology companies in the UK, says the rapidly growing environmental marketplace will produce huge economic benefits for those countries that gain early advantage.