A Department in slumber

It is commonplace today for top chaps from the Prime Minister downwards to express the view that there is a green industrial revolution and a multi-billion pound global market for environmental goods and services in which the UK must aspire to do better. But it was not always thus. Efforts to convince the Department of Trade and Industry that there was an emerging environmental technology sector in the UK which merited support consistently fell on deaf ears throughout the 1980s. It was not until the early 1990s that the substantial innovation and export support schemes for environmental technology businesses in the US, Japan, Germany, Scandinavia, the Netherlands and other countries became too persuasive even for the DTI to ignore.

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