Green growth outstrips rest of economy

22nd July 2013

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The UK's low-carbon and environmental sector continued to outperform the rest of the economy in 2011/12, with a growth rate almost 10 times higher than the increase in GDP

According to the latest figures from the business department (BIS), sales of low-carbon and environmental goods and services (LCEGS) increased by 4.8% in 2011/12, while the UK’s economy grew just 0.5%.

In total, LCEGS sales amounted to £128.1 billion, up from £122.2 billion in 2010/11. Growth was greatest in sales of goods and services relating to wind generation, carbon finance and solar photovoltaic power.

Organisations involved in creating alternative fuels continue to have the largest share of the LCEGS market, with sales of £19.1 million in 2011/12, closely followed by low-carbon building technologies (£15.4 million) and the wind generation sector (£15 million).

BIS figures also confirm that, in line with previous years, the UK remains sixth in a global ranking for LCEGS sales, behind the US, China, Japan India and Germany, and continues to be a net exporter of green goods and services.

In 2011/12, exports of LCGES reached £12.2 billion, a 3.8% increase on 2010/11, while imports of green goods and services were just £7 billion. Exports to China, for example, were worth £821.8 million, while the UK imported £475 million worth of goods from China.

The business department’s findings did reveal, however, that, while sales were up on 2010/11, the number of UK LCEGS companies fell slightly (by -0.8%) and employment levels remained largely static at around 938,000 people.


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