The green economy has a significantly higher workforce than the auto industry


The low-carbon industries are now one of the UK’s largest employers, accounting for almost 10% of economic activity, according to a new report from the Green Alliance think tank, confirming that the sector was worth £122bn in 2011 and has been growing at between 4-5% since the financial crisis of 2008.

It contrasts the 939,600 people employed in low-carbon and environmental jobs with numbers employed in other sectors, revealing that the green economy has a significantly higher workforce than the auto industry, with just over half a million people, and the telecoms, which employs just 212,900 people.

The BusinessGreen website gives the latest news and best-practice advice to companies on how to become more environmentally responsible, while still ‘growing the all-important bottom line’. Its editor, James Murray – described as being one of the UK’s leading commentators on the low carbon economy – summarises: “Green employment, revenues, exports and infrastructure investment is all rising”.

The biggest projects in the pipeline are in offshore wind, public transport, nuclear, renewables and fibre optics – no longer in high-carbon infrastructure

Drawing on figures from the official government figures, including Treasury’s most recent infrastructure ‘investment pipeline data’ from the report, Mr Murray writes that, whereas the top 20 infrastructure projects planned for 2012-13 will deliver £23bn of investment, including £14.5bn of public investment, £7bn of public/private investment and just £1.4bn of public investment, high-carbon infrastructure accounts for just £3.1bn of projects, including £1.9bn of public investment.

Report author Alastair Harper told BusinessGreen. “The area where we are getting international investors to open up their wallets is in low carbon, and that is despite the negative language from some ministers and the investment barriers”.

The report also cites government figures showing the UK exported low-carbon and environmental goods and services to 52 countries in 2010-11, totalling £11.8bn, while delivering a green trade surplus worth £1bn from its six largest trade partners.

To read the article, and its review of the implications for the party conference season, use this link:

For a free download of the report use this link:



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