UK net zero economy ‘worth more than £70bn’

Total gross value added by businesses involved in the net zero economy is more than twice that of the energy sector, according to a new study

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UK businesses focusing on net zero are currently contributing £71 billion in gross value added (GVA) to the economy.

That’s one of the findings of a new report commissioned by the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU), with analysis provided by CBI Economics and the DataCity, which estimates that there are almost 20,000 businesses whose work is within the net zero spectrum.

The study found that the total GVA created by businesses linked to the net zero space is more than twice that of the energy sector itself.

It also shows that around 840,000 jobs are supported by businesses in the net zero economy, with an average wage of £42,600, compared to the £33,400 national average.

The report also suggests net zero economy is also highly productive, generating £112,300 in GVA per employee, 1.7 times higher than the national average of £64,400.

Peter Chalkley, Director of ECIU, said: “Billions of pounds of private sector investments are being made in net zero with the hot spots of activity being outside of London in places like Tyneside, Merseyside and Derbyshire.

“The net zero economy is addressing levelling-up and the UK’s productivity problem, but with the EU and US investing heavily in clean technologies, the question now is will the UK keep up or try to stick with industries of the past?”

Tom Thackray, Director of Decarbonisation at the CBI, commented: “This report underlines the real benefit to firms across multiple sectors – right across the country – of embracing that challenge.

“We can see how environmentally sustainable economic growth – for example, the development and scaling of renewable energy – will help stimulate economic activity across the UK and in turn help to reduce regional inequality.”

Kelly Becker, President of Schneider Electric UK&I, said: “The UK is already seeing the economic benefits of a green economy. In addition to macroeconomic pluses, further investment in the transition, which must include a significant focus on cutting energy waste, will alleviate the crippling cost of energy plaguing consumers.

“Through a green economy, the UK can take back control of its energy supply. As other countries come to the same realisation around the benefits of a green economy, the race for global market share and technologies to support the transition has begun.

“The UK government must work hand in hand with the private sector to accelerate the creation of a greener economy. Only through public-private partnerships will the UK keep pace with the global push for greener economies.”

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