Government's ‘Green Day’ plans need more ambition on green jobs

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The government’s Net Zero strategy fails to protect jobs and is not creating enough ‘green jobs’, says the TUC.

The government published updated plans on what was billed Green Day on 30 March to show how the UK would meet its goal to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to Net Zero by 2050.

The 30-page Powering Up Britain document contains a raft of measures covering offshore wind, green hydrogen, carbon capture and ‘cutting edge’ green technologies, though many had already been announced previously.

TUC General Secretary Paul Nowak said: “The nations that lead the way in getting to Net Zero will be the most successful in delivering good jobs for everyone. But this strategy falls a long way short of the ambition needed to seize this opportunity for Britain.

“Investment in clean energy, green tech and new ways of delivering energy-intensive products is still far too low. And workers lack the guarantees that existing jobs will be protected, and new green jobs will be good, unionised jobs.”

A technician looks out to an offshore wind farm on the North Sea. Photograph: iStock

The government says its vision for a transition to a ‘green and sustainable future’ will support ‘hundreds of thousands of green jobs.’

Green growth not only ensures the UK meets its carbon targets, but provides ‘opportunities.. to business and consumers’ says the report.

Green jobs are roles that directly contribute to – or indirectly support – the UK's Net Zero emissions target and other environmental goals, such as nature restoration and mitigation against climate risks. They include jobs in health, safety and the environment.

Almost two-thirds of green jobs are in Asia, with China alone accounting for 42 per cent of the global total, according to the ILO.

The UK had a record year for new green jobs in 2021, according to ONS’s latest data, with growth in areas including provision of services to the construction, manufacturing and energy sectors. But is off-track to deliver its flagship goal of hosting two million green jobs by 2030, says

Mission Zero, the excoriating independent review of the UK’s road to Net Zero by Chris Skidmore MP, said a ‘lack of long-term thinking’ has been holding back investment in ‘all sectors’ of green technology and inhibiting job growth.

The Skidmore report said: “We are at a crossroads. We can either go further and faster in the transition, capitalising on our comparative advantages on clean technologies, our world class science base, our global leadership on financial services and the natural power reserves of the North Sea – or we can hold up our hands and say it is too difficult and watch our world-leading sectors, such as the City of London or our advanced car manufacturing, pack up and move on, taking high-skilled, high-paying jobs with them.”

On 30 March, the government accepted 23 out of Skidmore’s 25 recommendations including to train more workers in skills in onshore wind and solar.

Government's Powering Up Britain report here

Mission Zero: an independent review of Net Zero here


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