UK government suppresses data on the size of growing green industries.

Guardian: “….You might think that burying good news, on the other hand, was bonkers. Yet that is exactly what the George Osborne has done with the UK’s booming green economy, exemplified once again in his speech to the Conservative Party conference on Monday. But not content with just putting the green economy in the shade, I can reveal that the coalition has even decided to stop collecting its statistics on the fast-growing sector.”
“What is Osborne afraid of? That renewables and energy efficiency will be shown to be better better for the economy than the shale gas he once again lavished with hyperbole?
Over the lean years of recession, the green economy was one of the few bright lights. The last green economy statistics, published in July 2013 and covering 2011-12, revealed a sector employing a million people – more than teaching. The “low carbon and environmental goods and services” (LCEGS) sector was worth £128bn that year, 8% of GDP. The UK ranked in sixth in the world, a major player in a sector worth £3.4 trillion globally. Even better, the UK green economy was steadily growing at 4.8%, outpacing global growth of 3.8%, and contributing a third of all the UK’s economic growth at that time.
For a chancellor who must have woken up every morning for years praying for a glimmer of economic growth, it is astonishing that he continues to ignore the green economy in his speeches. Even worse is the fact that those in the green sector will be pleased to be ignored, if it means Osborne is curbing his tendency to trash talk: “We’re not going to save the planet by putting our country out of business.” His negative words scared investors and put up the cost of green technologies.
The Conservative Party conference had already delivered a fresh example of green double standards. The knock-down prices of the 100,000 new homes promised by David Cameron will be achieved in part by exemption from energy efficiency standards: buy now, pay (high energy bills) later. And, as it happens, building services which cut bills and carbon are one of the biggest parts of the green economy.
I discovered the demise of the LCEGS data after the non-appearance of the 2014 set in July. After many fruitless enquiries, I winkled out the truth using Freedom of Information laws. I was told the government “will not publish this dataset again”.
….The most bizarre aspect is that the green economy – frequently innovative, high-tech, disruptive and always looking forwards – seems to be exactly the type of business Osborne wants to encourage.
He told the Conservative Party Conference on Monday: “We are living through an economic upheaval as big as the industrial revolution – every single day new technologies, and new companies, and new economies are fundamentally shaking up the established way of doing things. This technology brings intense competition that spells rapid decline for any sector, or any country, that fails to keep up.”
Can it really not strike Osborne that this is a perfect description of how clean energy and the fight against climate change are consigning fossil fuels to history? Apparently not. He chose to highlight the “extraordinary shale gas reserves beneath our feet”.
He went on to say: “We must learn from the past, not be the past. Decide or decline. That is the choice. We must choose the future.” You could argue that, 60 years on and still nowhere near being commercially viable, nuclear power stations are the past. Not for Osborne. Should “the country that built the first civil nuclear power station not build any more?” he asked rhetorically. Renewables got a one-word mention, after fracking and nuclear.
The only explanation that plausibly explains Osborne’s refusal to laud the green economy is that the Tory party’s climate change sceptics just can’t stomach talk of “turbines and targets”, as environment secretary Liz Truss mockingly put it earlier on Monday.
“I believe it is perfectly possible for Britain to be the most prosperous major country on Earth. But only if we choose the future not the past,” Osborne said. But unless he finds the courage to disinter the green economy’s good news, his aspiration risks being dead on arrival.”