Labour launches green jobs tour

  • Jun 03, 2019
  • Business Green

Labour launched a national green jobs tour around the UK this weekend, in a bid to ignite national support for its 'Green Industrial Revolution' agenda. 

Shadow Business Secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey visited Morecambe in Lancashire on Saturday to discuss the area's potential for "green jobs" in sectors such as offshore wind, tidal power and community-owned renewable energy.

"Without the right infrastructure, the skills and training, the right industrial strategy or investment in new technologies, we won't create a dynamic low carbon economy," she said ahead of the visit. "Without one, we will fail future generations, forcing them to face the consequences of climate breakdown."

She said the tour aims to help Labour better understand "the skills and ideas of people throughout society". "That's why we're talking to unions, businesses and communities across the country to prepare detailed and ambitious plans to deliver a Green Industrial Revolution," she said. 

Alongside the tour, Labour is hosting an online call for evidence, asking for input from trade unions, businesses, public sector bodies, party members, civil society groups and members of the public on its plans to develop the green jobs market around the UK. The consultation is open until the end of 2019.

The stunt follows news from trade union Prospect that the number of enewable energy jobs fell by 30 per cent between 2014 and 2017.

The slump was blamed principally on government cuts to incentives and support schemes, with the union calling on the government to do more to ensure a "just transition" to clean energy.

A BEIS spokesperson countered the report's claims, arguing:  "We've actually seen the number of green collar jobs soar to approximately 400,000, with clean growth at the heart of this government's modern Industrial Strategy. This figure could more than quadruple to two million by 2030."

In his conference speech last year, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn promised that a Labour government would create 400,000 new jobs in green industries.

An "expert briefing" published shortly afterwards proposed a seven-fold increase in offshore wind farms by 2030, designed to create 120,000 jobs, alongside 6,000 additional onshore wind turbines, generating up to 60,000 jobs. It set an overall target of achieving 60 per cent renewable and low carbon energy by 2030.

Earlier this month, Labour also announced plans to install solar panel on 1.75m homes, creating an additional 16,900 jobs. Meanwhile late last week Labour announced that it would impose strict environmental criteria on firms bidding for public contracts regarding energy use, greenhouse gas emissions and waste disposal.

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