London’s booming green economy is ‘driving our economic recovery’

05 September 2013

New figures show London's thriving green economy has bucked national trends and continued to grow over the last five years with over 9,200 green businesses employing over 163,500 people.

A report published today analysing London’s ‘Low Carbon and Environmental Goods and Services Sector’, commissioned by the Mayor of London Boris Johnson, has revealed the sector is worth approximately £25.4bn to London’s economy, and has grown by more than 5 per cent over each of the last two years. This growth is predicted to continue until the end of the decade by approximately 6 per cent per year, which helps support the Mayor’s goal of London becoming one of the world’s most sustainable cities by 2020.

The report ‘London’s Low Carbon Snapshot’ was compiled by kMatrix and is the first updated analysis of the sector since 2011. It proved that the green economy grew considerably throughout the economic downturn. The Mayor welcomed the findings in the report yesterday evening as he addressed an audience of international Mayors at the C40 & Siemens Climate Leadership Awards at the Crystal building in the Royal Docks.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson said: “This report proves that cities taking climate action can expect economic growth. London is becoming the ‘one-stop shop’ for low carbon and environmental services – providing the goods, skills and financing every city needs to make its transition to a low carbon, resource efficient economy.”

Mathew Pencharz, the Mayor’s Senior Adviser on Environment & Energy said: “As our carbon finance sub-sector continues to grow our city is also consolidating its strength in other significant areas of the green economy, such as renewable energies and low carbon building technologies. These will equip London to be at the forefront of growing global markets in the battle to reduce our carbon emissions and make our cities more resilient in the face of climate change."

Key findings from the report include:

• Employment in London’s Low Carbon and Environmental Goods and Services sector in was 163,563. This has increased from 159,715 in 2009/10. The number of companies in London’s Low Carbon and Environmental Goods and Services sector is 9,211.

• Sales in the Low Carbon and Environmental Goods and Services sector has grown over the last five years from £20.9bn in 2007/08 to £22.9bn in 2009/10 and has now reached £25.4bn. The value of the sectors exports is £2.2bn, which was up from £1.9bn in 2009/10.

• London’s Low Carbon and Environmental Goods and Services sector are made up by the following proportions: Low Carbon 52%, Renewable Energy 32% and Environmental 16%.

• The largest sub-sectors in the Low Carbon and Environmental Goods and Services sector are in Carbon Finance £6.52bn, Geothermal £2.74bn, Wind £2.53bn and Building Technologies £2.28bn, and these four sub-sectors account for 56% of London’s total Low Carbon and Environmental Goods and Services sector sales.

• 97% of the Carbon Finance sub-sector is contained within London.

Notes to editors

1. To see the full report visit www.london.gov.uk  For more information on the Mayor’s environment http://www.london.gov.uk/priorities/environment 

2, This report updates the previous London Low Carbon Market Snapshot that was published in October 2011 that assessed the size and nature of London’s Low Carbon and Environmental Goods and Services sector for the fiscal years 2007/08, 2008/09 and 2009/10 3, London has led the way on taking climate action with a number of high prolife initiatives that have created demand for goods and services in this sector and include:

• The Mayor’s residential and public sector buildings retrofit programmes that are delivering carbon and monetary savings. • London has the cleanest and greenest large bus fleet in the world, including in the New Bus for London the cleanest and greenest bus of its class.

• The Mayor’s Decentralised Energy programme is working to attract investment into energy generation and distribution in London to create more secure, cheaper and greener energy system.

• Our proposed Ultra-Low Emission Zone will be a game-changerd in improving our air quality and will give a great big nudge to the zero and ultra-low emission vehicle market. • Our street trees, pocket parks and urban greening programmes are creating the green infrastructure not only to improve London’s quality of life but also to mitigate against surface water flooding and the urban heat island effect, clean the air and help our city’s biodiversity.