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The Carbon Trust teams up with GE in $5bn clean tech drive

GE (NYSE:à‚ GE) has joined up with UK not-for-profit group The Carbon Trust to launch a $5bn clean tech innovation fund.

The move comes amid fears that Europe is at risk of being outpaced in ‘green’ technology by both the US and Asia.

The Carbon Trust will work with GE to identify and evaluate companies with the most potential for investment from the fund.

Carbon Trust chief executive Tom Delay said that Europe had historically led clean tech innovation, “but we increasingly need to ensure clean technology businesses are commercialised fast and effectively”.

He said there was increasing evidence that other parts of the world are catching up and overtaking the region”.

Statistics from various sources back this up: according to a recent Bloomberg New Energy Finance report, in 2007 some 42 per cent of the world’s clean energy investment took place in Europe, compared to just 25 per cent today.

During the same period, investment in China, India, South, Central and Latin America and the Middle East and Africa has rocketed.

Analysis of venture capital investment activity in the final quarter of last year by the Cleantech Group showed that North America accounted for almost two thirds of total venture capital investments in the cleantech sector in this period, with Europe and Asia Pacific accounting for just 19 per cent and 18 per cent respectively.

GE itself recently carried out a global clean tech innovation poll which put Germany, Sweden and the UK as the highest ranking European countries.

But while Germany and Sweden are considered to have strong government backing, British companies felt the government was not doing enough to stimulate clean tech growth.

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