Low carbon and renewable energy economy report shows slow progress


The Low Carbon and Renewable Energy Economy Survey (2018), which was published yesterday, surveyed around 24,000 businesses to collect information on turnover, imports and exports, employment, and acquisitions and disposals of assets during 2018 across the LCREE.

The report shows that the LCREE’s turnover in the UK was around £46.7b in 2018, up from £40.4b in 2015.

Employment in the UK LCREE was around 224,800 full-time equivalent in 2018, up from 200,800 in 2015.

However, the LCREE accounted for only around 1% of total UK non-financial turnover and employment in 2018 – similar to 2015-2017.

The figure was slightly higher for Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland than for England and the UK as a whole.

The report also provides a breakdown of LCREE turnover and employment by sector.

The energy efficient products sector remained the largest component of the LCREE in 2018, accounting for 36% (£16.7b) of turnover and 51% (114,400 full-time equivalent) of employment.

The low-emission vehicles sector accounted for the largest proportion (59%; £3.1b) of total LCREE exports (£5.3b) in 2018.

Total investment in the LCREE increased by 48% between 2015 and 2018 to stand at £8.1b in 2018.

This was mainly due to a rise in acquisitions by the offshore wind sector (up £3.5b between 2015 and 2018).

Gudrun Cartwright, environment director at charity Business in the Community and The Prince’s Responsible Business Network, said: “Coming straight on the back of Sir David Attenborough’s climate change warning that ‘the moment of crisis has come’ [made yesterday morning to the BBC], this latest report on the green economy makes for sober reading.

“While employment numbers and turnover in the UK’s LCREE increased slightly on the previous year, they’ve not increased anywhere near enough.

“We only have two or three business planning cycles before our 10 year deadline to limit climate change catastrophe, but the green economy is still tiny in comparison.

“There’s a lot of talk among businesses about the need to tackle climate change and environmental issues, but considerably less walk.

“Businesses must act decisively to eliminate waste, set net zero carbon targets, invest in supply chains, support customers, and harness the power of employees to lead at every level, so that we can innovate at the speed and scale needed to repair and sustain our planet.”

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