UK ‘Lagging Behind’ G7 In Green Jobs

An analysis of the government’s Ten Point Plan for a green industrial revolution by the TUC has found that investment is ‘just a fraction’ of that pledged by France, Canada, Italy, Germany, and the USA, with only Japan scoring worse.

The Guardian reports that the union says the analysis shows that there is potential to do much more to expand green job and meet the UK’s climate commitments.

Frances O’Grady, the general secretary of the TUC, said stronger growth was expected as lockdown rules eased but that the recovery would soon lose momentum if the government did not step up investment.

“We need a much more ambitious plan for green industry and infrastructure,” she said. “It’s a chance to replace the jobs lost in the pandemic and level up the UK. But Britain is only investing £1 for every £16 that’s in President Biden’s green recovery plan,” she said.

“The prime minister should use the G7 summit to announce plans that match the ambition of other G7 members or we will be left behind.”

The TUC is now urging the government to seize the G7 opportunity by allocating £85 billion for green energy infrastructure, and such a commitment would move the UK into third place in the G7 table, creating a million quality green jobs and demonstrating real climate leadership.

The TUC’s report supports previous research that extra recovery investment would create 1.24 million green jobs in the short term while reconfiguring and decarbonising workplaces to protect existing jobs.

The UK Treasury is investing £180 per person on green recovery and jobs, but the USA has plans to invest more than £2,960 per person, according to the report, on green recovery, jobs and programmes such as public transport, electric vehicles and refitting for energy efficiency.

In Italy, the green recovery investment per person is £1,390, £600 per person in Germany, and £870 in Canada.

Scaled by population, according to the report, the UK green investment plans are just 26 per cent of France, 21 per cent of Canada, 13 per cent of Italy and 6 per cent of the USA.

To match the level of investment in the USA, the UK would need the equivalent of 16 Ten Point Plans, eight times to match Italy, and five times to meet Canada’s investment.

If the UK chooses to match the climate investment of its G7 peers, it could scale up quality green job creation ten-fold, according to the report, as well as kick-starting the economy, build more competitive domestic industries.

The current UK green recovery investment could create 44,000 green jobs over the next decade. But if the UK government seized the G7 opportunity to match Italian or US green recovery spending, it could instead create between 338,000 to 721,000 green jobs lasting across the next decade.

The report suggests that the Treasury has the opportunity to ‘urgently address the current course of underfunding climate action’. On current trend, it says the UK will ‘fail to create the quality green jobs we need, lose out on building domestic competitive advantage from tidal stream, hydrogen, electric vehicles and clean steel’.

Apprenticeships and other funded training will be key to building green jobs in the UK, such as our Level 2 Understanding Climate Change and Environmental Awareness funded through the Adult Education Budget. Visit our website today for more information.