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Green investment can help future-proof the UK economy, but we need to ‘act fast and act now’.

Those were the words of Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch when she spoke at a landmark trade event in the North East of England.

Speaking to an audience of global investors and executives at the Green Trade and Investment Expo in Gateshead, she set out a three-pronged approach to using trade to ensure the UK is ready to tackle crucial global challenges.

She said: “We believe that green trade and investment will be the future-proofing force that will help us create a better tomorrow.

Economic benefits

“First, we know that growing our green industries is crucial to reaching net zero. Second, to protect our energy security we need to grow our own industries.

“And third, green trade and investment act as a future-proof by creating those jobs of tomorrow.”

Her speech celebrated figures that show the UK’s progress toward clean and sustainable energy is delivering huge economic benefits for the UK.

In the past two years, the Government has secured £19.8 billion in new investment, creating over 11,000 new jobs. Total foreign investment has created nearly 85,000 new jobs for people across the UK in 2021-2022 alone. An unprecedented £100 billion of private sector investment is expected to support nearly 500,000 new jobs by 2030.

She said: “We know trade and investment grows our economy, creates jobs, and puts money in people’s pockets – but it also has the power to tackle the challenges we see around the world.”

Centre of excellence

Hosted by the Department for International Trade (DIT) and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), the Expo brought together UK businesses and global investors to capitalise on the commercial opportunities stemming from the UK’s journey to net zero.

Minister of State for Climate Change Graham Stuart said: “The UK is number one in Europe for renewable investment opportunities, with the highest offshore wind capacity, one of the largest potential CO2 storage bases, and a fast-emerging centre of excellence for hydrogen propulsion and EV batteries.”

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