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Environment: Technology

Volume 460: debated on Wednesday 9 May 2007

To ask the Deputy Prime Minister whether his Department plans to publish proposals on environmental technology and its employment potential. (125934)

I am deputy chair of the Cabinet Committee on Energy and the Environment, which develops the Government’s energy and environmental policies, monitors the impact on sustainable development of the Government’s policies, and considers issues of climate change, security of supply and affordability of energy.

The UK environmental goods and services industry is strong, well established and diverse, employing approximately 400,000 people in around 17,000 companies, with an estimated annual turnover of £25 billion. A recent joint report by the Department for Trade and Industry and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, ‘A Study of the Emerging Markets in the Environmental Sector’, estimates that this turnover will increase to more than £34 billion by 2010 and £46 billion by 2015. This is available on the DTI website at:

http://www.dti.gov.uk/sectors/environmental/index.html.

A Commission on Environmental Markets and Economic Performance was established in November last year and will publish its report in the spring. It will make recommendations on how the UK can make the most of the opportunity that environmental protection can present for wealth creation and employment growth. The Commission is jointly chaired by the Secretaries of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and for Trade and Industry, and its membership is drawn from business, non-governmental organisations, academia, trade unions and public-sector organisations.