Research shows demand for green jobs will rapidly increase in coming years
A low-carbon and renewable energy economy could create nearly 700,000 jobs in England by 2030, with the potential of more than 1.18 million jobs created by 2050, according to a report by the Local Government Association (LGA).
The LGA’s “Local green jobs” report showed demand for environmentally friendly jobs would rapidly increase as the UK transitions to a net zero emissions economy.
It also suggested that focussing on a low-carbon economy could help to counter job losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic, which are likely to increase further when the government’s furlough scheme ends later this year.
Following its research, the LGA has called for national skills and employment schemes to assist the post-Covid-19 recovery, with proposals for a jobs guarantee programme.
The organisation predicted almost half of the estimated 693,628 low-carbon jobs by 2030 would be in clean electricity generation, providing low-carbon heat for homes and businesses through manufacturing wind turbines, and installing solar panels and heat pumps.
A fifth of jobs would come from installing energy efficiency products, such as insulation, lighting and control systems, while others will come from providing low-carbon financial, legal and IT services, the report said.
“Demand for green jobs is due to sky-rocket as we move towards a net zero economy and local government, with its local knowledge and expertise, is best placed to ensure the workforce in every region of the country can successfully surf the new wave of employment opportunities,” Sir Richard Leese, the chair of the LGA’s City Regions Board, said.
Sir Richard added that councils needed long-term funding and devolved powers to help the government reach its goal of being carbon neutral by 2050.
The UK government has set a target of bringing all greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by that date, with the aim of reducing the effects of climate change.
Labour has also called for an ambitious “radical green recovery plan” to tackle the economic crisis brought on by Covid-19, with a focus on retraining young people in green industries.
Last month, Ed Miliband, the shadow business secretary, said the UK should be aiming for the “most ambitious climate recovery plan in the world” in response to the pandemic.
Steve Turner, Unite’s assistant general secretary, said the government had a “vital role” to play in creating a greener economy.
“We urge [the government] to step up to the plate now so we can arrest some of the huge damage this virus is doing to the economy and jobs as we plan to recover and rebuild,” Mr Turner said.
“With rapid investment, the UK could leap ahead with the infrastructure needed to transition our economy, greening our homes, providing the battery manufacturing capabilities and national charging network necessary to support the transition to electric vehicles.”
Source : Independent