UK's environmental sector urged to look overseas

UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) has identified key markets for the UK’s £25 billion a year environmental industries.

The report, ‘Market opportunities in environmental goods and services, renewable energy, carbon finance and Carbon Abatement Technologies’ (CATS), confirmed Australia, Brazil, China, India, South Africa, Turkey and the US as markets that could benefit from UK expertise.

Of the seven countries, the US was recognised as the largest market for environmental goods and services in 2005, valued at an estimated $241bn. China was the second largest, valued at $32bn, followed closely by Australia (US$16bn) and India ($14bn).

Andrew Cahn, UKTI chief executive said: “It is vital we look for where our expertise is needed and provide support for UK companies to seize these opportunities. The UKTI report on overseas opportunities for environmental industries shows the global commitment to combating climate change can create jobs and give small businesses the chance to expand. Through UKTI, UK businesses can tap into these markets to help address environmental concerns, meet environmental regulations and establish infrastructure facilities.”

Carried out by SQW Consulting, the report brings together information from a range of sources to provide a guide for UK companies. For each country, current and future opportunities are highlighted together with regulatory constraints and indications of where the UK is best placed to offer its expertise.

The report concluded that:

* Opportunities in most of the countries match UK strengths in water, wastewater, waste and asset management, energy market, environmental consultancy, generation technologies and carbon finance.

* Specific opportunities include low carbon energy generation capacity, renewable energy, and carbon finance in China, generation technologies in US, environmental consultancy and waste management in Brazil, and water and wastewater treatment in Turkey.

* In 2005, the highest consumer of renewable energy was China with 399 billion kilowatts, followed by US (370 billion), Brazil (352 billion) and India (197 billion).

At least a tenth of the UK sector’s annual turnover is through exports, representing a significant share of the world market, which was valued at $515bn in 2002 and is expected to grow to $688bn by 2010.

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