Scope for one million new green jobs by 2050, says LGA

More than one million new ‘green’ jobs could be created by 2050, according to the UK Local Government Association (LGA).

Nearly 700,000 direct jobs could be created in England’s low-carbon and renewable energy economy by 2030, according to the LGA, rising to more than 1.18 million by 2050.

The association’s new commissioned report, ‘Local green jobs – accelerating a sustainable economic recovery’, shows that demand for green jobs will “rapidly increase” as the nation transitions to a net-zero economy, and will help to counter job losses resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The LGA is now urging the UK Government to work with councils to develop post-COVID-19 economic recovery options, including proposals for a jobs guarantee programme, which could provide new opportunities, including in the low-carbon sector. The association is also calling for national skills and employment schemes to be devolved to council and combined authorities, so they can collaborate with businesses and education providers to train and retrain young people and older workers, so they can benefit from these new local opportunities.

The LGA’s report predicts that:

  • Almost half (46%) of an estimated 696,628 total low-carbon jobs by 2030 will be in clean electricity generation and providing low-carbon heat for homes and businesses, such as installing heat pumps, manufacturing wind turbines and installing solar panels

  • Around a fifth (21%) of jobs by 2030 will be involved in installing energy efficiency products such as insulation, lighting and control systems

  • A further 19% will be based on providing low-carbon services (financial, legal and IT) and producing alternative fuels such as bioenergy and hydrogen

  • A further 14% of jobs will be directly involved in manufacturing low-emission vehicles and the associated infrastructure

  • Between 2030 and 2050, the low-carbon workforce in England could increase by a further 488,569, taking the level of jobs to more than 1.18 million by 2050.

According to the LGA, soaring demand for green jobs will require a “diverse range of skills and expertise”

Councillor Sir Richard Leese, chair of the LGA’s City Regions Board, said: “Councils are driving the climate change agenda at a local level, through ambitious projects and targets, which is beginning to influence local economic growth plans and skills programmes.

“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.

“Localising and devolving skills investment, back to work support and any job guarantee will be critical to ensuring everyone benefits from new local jobs, including these one million new low-carbon jobs.”

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