Businesses urged to compete for growing low carbon opportunities

Low carbon business opportunities in Brazil and South Korea stretch into billions of pounds, two reports published by UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) reveal.

The Brazil report, written by the Carbon Trust, has identified around £125bn worth of low carbon opportunities in Brazil, while the South Korea report highlights thirty specific low carbon opportunities.

Welcoming the reports, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Edward Davey said:

"The UK is leading the way to increase electricity generation from new and renewable sources and is providing sustainable solutions that can be applied and replicated across the world.

"These reports match UK strengths to South Korean and Brazilian needs in low-carbon goods and services. In South Korea there are more than 30 specific opportunities highlighted in new and renewable energy and also green building design and materials, as well as billions of pounds of opportunities in Brazil.

"So, whether you are an SME in the low carbon supply chain, an engineering company, a consultant, an architect, an equipment supplier or a materials producer, there are opportunities for you."

Trade & Investment Minister, Lord Green said:

"As countries like Brazil and the South Korea look to further reduce their energy consumption, the UK is in a great position to lead the global transition to a low carbon economy.

"Companies in our low carbon sector are recognised globally for their innovation and expertise. UK firms are now well placed to take advantage of international opportunities, particularly following the London 2012 Olympics where sustainability and low carbon initiatives played key roles in seeing the Games recognised as the most sustainable ever."

James Wilde, Director of Innovation and Policy at the Carbon Trust, added:

 "Brazil is committed to growing its expanding economy in a low carbon way. This creates a huge commercial opportunity for British businesses, as they are leaders in many of the cutting edge low carbon technologies and services required to achieve this."

Major infrastructure developments in Brazil are creating an array of significant low carbon opportunities, particularly as the country looks forward to hosting the Football World Cup in 2014 and the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Prospects for UK companies in South Korea are plentiful and diverse in this high income, high growth marketplace - particularly in the low carbon sector.  The South Korean Government is pursuing an ambitious low carbon strategy, having made a commitment in July 2009 to spending 2% of annual GDP on the low carbon economy.

Recent completion of the EU-South Korea Free Trade Agreement also ensure that 97% of all trade tariffs will be eliminated within three years, removing barriers to trade across a wide range of sectors, including low carbon.

Over 100 UK companies attended the launch event in London where they received copies of the two reports, received advice from UKTI international trade advisors on doing business in Brazil and South Korea and heard about which UKTI services were most suitable to help grow their business overseas.

Copies of the two reports are now available on the UK Trade & Investment website



Notes to editors

UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) is the government department that helps UK-based companies succeed in the global economy. We also help overseas companies bring their high quality investment to the UK's economy - acknowledged as Europe's best place from which to succeed in global business. UKTI offers expertise and contacts through its extensive network of specialists in the UK, and in British embassies and other diplomatic offices around the world. We provide companies with the tools they require to be competitive on the world stage. For more information on UKTI, visit or telephone +44 (0)207 215 8000. For latest press releases, visit the online newsroom at

Low Carbon Key facts:

  • Global sales of low carbon and environmental goods and services were £3.3 trillion in 2010/11.  The UK market is the sixth largest in the world with a market share of 3.7%.  It is worth £117 billion and employs over 914,000 people and is expected to show a steady increase in growth to almost 6 per cent by 2016/17.
  • The UK market is the sixth largest in the world demonstrating world class strengths across all sectors of the economy, from sustainable design and manufacturing to marine energy and carbon management.  It is worth £117 billion and employs over 914,000 people and is expected to show a steady increase in growth to almost 6 per cent by 2016/17.

    The figures show the fastest growing areas are carbon finance (7.9% growth) and wind power generation (6.5%). The UK solar power market also grew almost 6% last year and is now worth £1bn a year. 

Brazil Facts

  • Brazil is the world's 6th largest economy.  It is by far the largest economy in South America, representing over 50% of regional GDP, and around 2.5% of the world GDP.
  • Brazil is in the top 4 countries for UK exports of low carbon goods and services.

    Brazil is the world leader in bio-ethanol production. More than three-quarters of the automobiles sold in Brazil have flex-fuel engines capable of running on petrol, ethanol, or a mixture of the two.

South Korea Facts

  • South Korea has the 12th largest economy in the world and the fourth largest in Asia. GDP growth in 2012 is expected to be in the region of 3.5%.
  • The South Korean Presidential Committee for Green Growth has set a target of a 30% reduction in carbon emissions by 2020.

    In 2009, South Korea announced their national strategy and 5-year plan for green growth. The overall carbon target aims to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 30 per cent below its projected emissions growth by 2020.

Additional Media contact

For more information from the Carbon Trust, please contact the Carbon Trust press office:

Tel no: 020 7170 7050


The Government's economic policy objective is to achieve 'strong, sustainable and balanced growth that is more evenly shared across the country and between industries.' It set four ambitions in the 'Plan for Growth' (PDF 1.7MB), published at Budget 2011:

  • To create the most competitive tax system in the G20
  • To make the UK the best place in Europe to start, finance and grow a business
  • To encourage investment and exports as a route to a more balanced economy
  • To create a more educated workforce that is the most flexible in Europe.

Work is underway across Government to achieve these ambitions, including progress on more than 250 measures as part of the Growth Review. Developing an Industrial Strategy gives new impetus to this work by providing businesses, investors and the public with more clarity about the long-term direction in which the Government wants the economy to travel.