Ministers must deliver on their words with actions if as many as 725,000 net new green jobs are to be created in quest of Net Zero goals, the Climate Change Committee warns today.
“Around 250,000 jobs have already been created in the transition, but the full workforce opportunities will only be realised with stronger policies”, said Lord Deben, chair of the independent scientists who advise the nation’s leaders.
“A hands-off approach to the Net Zero workforce from government will not work”.
Renewable energy, retrofitting buildings, & electric vehicles and battery manufacture are among sectors best primed to make between 135,000 and 725,000 new jobs before 2035, says the CCC in its new workforce assessment.
But the committee warns that Britain’s competitiveness already lags the EU’s green industrial plan and President Briden’s environmentally-tinged Inflation Reduction Act.
In the face of international pressures, the UK must defend its competitive advantage in Net Zero sectors like hydrogen and carbon capture, the report urges.
Potentially, more jobs are likely to be created than to be lost, the scientists calculate. The transition to green jobs can carry fewer risks & less pain than the death of mining & steel making in the 1970s & 1980s.
Green jobs in carbon capture, offshore wind, and the hydrogen economy are already bringing revival to post-industrial regions like Humberside, South West, and the north west. Grangemouth, Teesside, Southampton and Merseyside could follow.
Only around a fifth of workers will see the largest impacts, the committee believes, those now employed in sectors that will have a core role linked to Net Zero, and impacts will be felt well into the 2030s.
Risks needing to be managed on the road to a just transition include an inadequate supply of skilled workers, plus potentially disruptive impacts to some affected communities. Risks and opportunities are unique to each sector.
The committee’s findings and advice today will contribute to the government’s workforce action plan on Net Zero and nature, expected early next year.
More from the CCC report here.