Even in the official 'Global Recession' there may be positive signs for our industry, with the potential for an increase in Environment Jobs!

The Environmental Industries Commission (EIC) conducted a of over 100 environmental service firms at the beginning of the new year and found that one in three were expecting sales growth of between 11-20% over the next five years, despite the economic downturn.

This growth is to be seen mainly within the energy sector which is expected to become one of the largest markets for more than half of the respondents - mainly environmental consultants with a quarter technology providers.

There is evidence to support this at as our Energy Team is constantly expanding, having already quadrupled to match the demand of the industry with the Government's targets – potentially creating 160,000 ‘green collar jobs’.

However, most respondents felt that the Government is not doing enough to help the sector and that this in turn is hindering the flow of investment into the industry.

What are your thoughts on this? Is it fair to suggest that there is inadequate enforcement of regulation? a lack of skills? weak legislative standards? We'd enjoy hearing your thoughts via this forum!

What actions could the Government take to help the environmental industry and encourage further investment?

In the news this month it was reported that the Government are searching for policies that will both provide jobs and meet the UK's climate change targets.

So far they have come up with increasing the UK's forest cover from 11% to 12%. By doing so, more C02 will be absorbed whilst increasing employment opportunities.

Individuals would be employed to look after the trees. Wood can then also be used to replace coal and gas therefore more wood-fuelled heating plants would need to be installed generating electricity and thousands of jobs. The UK could aim to install thousands of small-scale wood-burning (or, more likely, wood gasification) plants dotted around forested areas.

Is this really an option? What could be done to aid the economic climate now?

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