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The green sector - those companies providing goods and services which tackle climate change - is now bigger than software and biotech combined, according to bank analysts. However they have only reached this conclusion by including industrial groups whose greenness would be questioned by many.

The Financial Times reports this morning on the analysis from megabank HSBC, which says that revenue from green biz has now passed $300bn. This includes nuclear power firms, renewable energy groups and such multinationals as Siemens and Philips, which operate in power generation and in producing energy-efficient components and appliances. However, firms which derive "only a small proportion" of revenue from greenery aren't counted.

The pink 'un quotes Joaquim de Lima, global head of quant research at HSBC.

"During the last year we've seen a massive growth in the number of companies providing goods and services designed to address climate change," said de Lima.

"This demonstrates that companies are taking the issue seriously and are willing to adapt their businesses to the challenges."

It seems that 390 companies around the world now make enough cash out of low-carbon power or other green biz to qualify under HSBC's guideline. De Lima said there was now a "clearly identifiable sector", one bigger than software and biotechnology put together.

The FT report can be read here. ®

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