Research conducted at University College London has found that America’s “green economy” generates more than $1.3 trillion annually and employs nearly 9.5 million Americans.
Overall, America’s green economy accounts for about 16.5% of the industry worldwide, with climate-related businesses and services making up about 7% of U.S. annual GDP.
The research also found that these numbers rose more than 20% from 2013-2016, including in sectors that had already been established, such as recycling and waste management, water treatment and land remediation.
“Low-carbon” sectors such as electric vehicles, green finance and energy efficiency have also shown growth.
In previous years, this data has been difficult to accumulate and analyze because the U.S. government doesn’t measure progress in green industries. The lack of data is thanks to budget cuts made in 2013 that eliminated funding for data-collection in this area, Bloomberg reports.
For the study that provided this information, researchers sought out hundreds of public and private databases and analyzed information from real-world businesses.
Study authors say the research reveals climate-related industries as an investment opportunity.
“Don’t listen to the political rhetoric,” study author Mark Maslin told Bloomberg. “Just look at the data and be hard-nosed about it, and say, ‘Okay, if we’re going to support the economy and make it grow and have lots of employment, this is where I need to invest.’”
The researchers intend to complete more research with more recent data in the near future.