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UK’s net zero economy grew 9% in 2023, report finds

(The Guardian, 27 Feb 2024) Green businesses and jobs are booming – in stark contrast to the national economy – but political U-turns risk future growth.

The UK’s net zero economy grew by 9% in 2023, a report has revealed, in stark contrast to the 0.1% growth seen in the economy overall. Nevertheless, the report pointed out that strong future growth from green businesses was being put at risk by government policy reversals, lack of investment and competition from the EU and US.

Thousands of new green companies were founded in 2023 and overall the sector was responsible for the production of £74bn in goods and services and 765,000 jobs, according to the report by the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) and the Confederation of British Industry (CBI).

Hotspots of net zero businesses and the well-paid jobs they provide occur across the country, rather than being concentrated in London and the south-east, the report found. It also highlighted strong net zero activity in some of the most deprived areas and in marginal constituencies that will be focal battlegrounds in the coming general election.

Achieving net zero emissions by 2050 is vital to limiting the damage from the climate crisis. Doing so would not only bring an economic boost but also cut energy costs for households and businesses and ensure energy security by ending the UK’s reliance on volatile fossil fuel markets, the report authors said.

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The Guardian, 27 Feb 2024: UK’s net zero economy grew 9% in 2023, report finds