Green economy thrives in UK despite overall slump, report shows

Green economy thrives in UK despite overall slump, report shows

The UK’s net zero economy expanded by 9% in 2023, according to a new report by the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) and the Confederation of British Industry (CBI). This is a remarkable contrast to the meagre 0.1% growth of the overall economy in the same year.

The report reveals that the net zero sector, which includes green businesses and jobs, generated £74bn in goods and services and employed 765,000 people in 2023. The sector also showed a diverse geographical distribution, with hotspots in various regions and constituencies across the country.

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The report highlights the benefits of achieving net zero emissions by 2050, which is essential to avoid the worst impacts of the climate crisis. These include boosting the economy, reducing energy bills, enhancing energy security, and creating more opportunities for innovation and competitiveness.

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Achieving net zero emissions by 2050 is vital to limiting the damage from the climate crisis.


However, the report also warns that the future growth of the net zero economy is under threat from policy uncertainty, insufficient investment, and increasing competition from the EU and US, which are both ramping up their efforts to decarbonise their economies.

The report urges the UK government and political parties to provide clear and consistent leadership, stability and support for the net zero transition, and to avoid politicising the issue. It also calls on businesses to seize the opportunities and challenges presented by the net zero agenda, and to collaborate with each other and with the government to achieve the common goal.

Peter Chalkley, the director of ECIU, said: “The net zero economy is a bright spot in an otherwise gloomy economic landscape, but it’s clear that the policy U-turns of the past year have damaged investor confidence at a time when the US and EU are investing billions to compete for clean industries. The question now is: will political parties provide the leadership, stability and investment needed to generate further growth – or shy away from the global race for net zero?”

Louise Hellem, chief economist at the CBI, said: “The transition to net zero presents unprecedented opportunities for the UK to become a more resilient and productive economy while also tackling climate change. [Businesses] really don’t want to see net zero issues politicised.”

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