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Gloucestershire well poised to profit from green economy

Gloucestershire businesses are in prime position to make the most of the UK's burgeoning green economy.

A new report has revealed that the low carbon industry - worth more than £200 billion to the UK - is now four times the size of the country's manufacturing sector.

The report, from data analysts kMatrix, and covered by The Guardian, found more than 75,000 businesses from wind turbine manufacturers to recycling plants employ more than 1.2 million people.

James Hygate, Founder and CEO Green Fuels, based in Berkeley, Gloucestershire, said: "I grew up in Stroud, so it's in the blood here. You do anything you can to preserve the beautiful environment we live in.

"People in Gloucestershire have been aware of this for a long time and there are a lot of businesses in the area involved in this sector and we are well placed to take advantage of this green growth."

He also said that the green economy could actually create jobs in manufacturing, as the economy shifts away from oil and gas to meet 'carbon targets'.

He said: "I think there's a huge opportunity for manufacturing in clean technology. We are amazing at inventing things in the UK."

Green Fuels has developed bio-refineries and he believes it is in the area of complex manufacturing that the UK is likely to excel.

He added: "It's critically important and it's a sector that's going to have to grow because we literally have no choice.

"Our message has always been to decarbonise. That was the driver behind the company in the first place. What's happened in the last two years is that everyone has recognised that."

Prof Patrick Devine-Wright, of Exeter University and a lead author with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, told The Guardian: "We need everybody to pull together, or we have no chance of meeting these ambitious targets and staving off what are going to be really, really damaging climate consequences."

Wind, wave and solar power have all grown rapidly in recent years, according to the report's data. It shows that overall the low carbon sector grew by 7.4% during the financial year 2018/19 to 2019/20 and contracted by 9% during 2019/20 to 2020/21, but is expected to bounce back in a post-Covid recovery.

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