The government’s business-promotion wing, UK Trade & Investment, has been looking for markets that could be particularly lucrative for the nation’s environmental industries, which it says are already worth £25bn a year to the British economy.

The agency’s snappily-titled Market opportunities in environmental goods and services, renewable energy, carbon finance and Carbon Abatement Technologies report flags up Australia, Brazil, China, India, South Africa, Turkey and the USA as countries that could be worth a punt.

Andrew Cahn, UKTI chief executive said: “In these tough times it is vital we look for where our expertise is needed and provide support for UK companies to seize these opportunities.

“Importantly, 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.”

Key opportunities by country:

  • Australia: currently air pollution control, solid and hazardous waste management, wastewater and water treatment, environmental monitoring and advanced fossil/clean coal technology. Future opportunities are likely to lie in additional sectors such as carbon capture and storage(CCS), low-carbon transport fuels and renewable energy.
  • Brazil: currently water provision, wastewater treatment and air pollution technology markets, low carbon transport fuels and renewable energy including hydroelectricity and wind, and carbon finance. Future opportunities are also likely in environmental consultancy and waste management.
  • China: currently waste management, water and wastewater treatment, low-carbon energy generation capacity and renewable energy, and carbon finance. Future opportunities are likely to be presented across all sectors except land remediation.
  • India: currently water and wastewater treatment, solid and hazardous waste management, renewable energy and carbon finance – the same sectors are likely to present future opportunities.
  • South Africa: limited opportunities at present but future opportunities are likely to be in waste and energy management, environmental consulting and water and wastewater treatment with some potential for carbon finance and renewable energies.
  • Turkey: currently hazardous waste management, solid waste management, water and wastewater treatment, advanced conventional energy generation and renewable energy. There are opportunities in the future in air pollution control, cleaner technologies, generation technologies and asset management.
  • USA: currently solid waste management, water utilities and wastewater treatment, air pollution abatement, cleaner technologies, low-carbon fuels and renewable energy. Future opportunities are likely to be in environmental monitoring, land remediation, CCS and generation technologies.
  • Sam Bond

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