The Local Government Association (LGA) has become the latest influential body to call on the government to prioritise climate action in its imminent recovery plan, setting out plans for a jobs guarantee programme that could help create over one million green jobs in the coming decades. The group today published a new report, entitled Local green jobs – accelerating a sustainable economic recovery, which predicts the green jobs market is expected to grow rapidly as the UK works to meet its target of net zero emissions by 2050. But it argues that concerted action to introduce a national skills programme and devolve funding to councils and combined authorities so they can work with businesses and education providers to train and retrain young people and older workers to address skills gaps could help fast-track the green jobs boom at a time when a major unemployment crisis looms.
Business Green 11th June 2020 read more »
With the correct support from central government and local authorities, the UK could create almost 700,000 new green jobs within a decade, and a further 488,000 through to 2050, new research has concluded. Produced by the Local Government Association (LGA), the report comes amid a backdrop of warnings that the UK unemployment rate could soar to 10% if there is a second wave of coronavirus in the latter half of 2020. The unemployment rate has been stagnating around 3.9% since February, but, with the furlough scheme due to wind down, the Treasury has warned that further redundancies are still to come. According to the report, much of this pain could be avoided if the Government works with councils and with skills providers to create economic recovery options centred around renewable energy, clean technologies and energy efficiencies.
Edie 11th June 2020 read more »
Independent 11th June 2020 read more »
Stephen Cirell: Solving the environmental and economic crises post Covid-19. Having established that millions of homes need to be retrofitted with energy efficiency works (such as loft insulation, solid wall insulation, glazing improvements, and replacement boilers or heat pumps) a substantial and nationwide programme of work needs to be established. This would have significant wider benefits: From the environmental stance, it would undertake works needed to meet the targets under the Climate Change Act 2008 (as amended); The skills required are basic and will either be available or can be acquired relatively quickly at local level; The costs will reduce as scale grows, as has been seen with areas of renewable energy such as solar PV; Hundreds of thousands of jobs will be created, to replace those lost through the downturn in the economy post Covid-19; For every new job created, there will be a boost to the local economy from people in work, spending money locally in the supply chain; At national level the government would reap both income tax and national insurance payments from these quality and sustainable jobs. The jobs would also lead to improvements in health and wellbeing, including less fuel poverty, better living conditions and lower costs of heating. Recent public opinion surveys have also shown that a large majority of the population does not want to return things to exactly how they were before the pandemic. Reduced pollution has had a great impact, both on the climate and on individuals’ health. Concern was already growing about the climate emergency and the inadequate action being taken at both local and national level. Such a programme would be warmly welcomed by the public and strongly supported. Politicians take note – as citizen’s juries already have. So the answer to the dreadful economic situation created by Covid-19 may be staring us in the face: develop a nationwide programme of housing energy efficiency work that goes way beyond current policy and creates new jobs and growth at a local level. Such a move would demonstrate that the government has listened to the people, has learned from the pandemic and is turning over a new leaf. Strong public support would surely be assured.
Local Government Chronicle 11th June 2020 read more »
The government should use its imminent economic recovery programmes to incentivise investment in low carbon and nature restoration projects in order to reboot the economy and chart a path towards net zero emissions, according to a major new report from the Aldersgate Group. The report, published today by the sustainable business body, joins a growing library of studies that have argued the government should place climate action at the heart of its promised coronavirus economic stimulus packages. Entitled Seize the Moment: Building a thriving, inclusive and resilient economy in the aftermath of Covid-19, the report argues the government should aim “targeted public investment” at key sectors while pushing through policy reforms that can help green infrastructure projects attract further private sector investment.
Business Green 12th June 2020 read more »
Making people’s homes cosy is the cheapest way to create jobs as the UK prepares to fight recession, a report says. Its authors say a job insulating homes would be much cheaper than creating a road maintenance job, for example. Jobs in building roads are more costly to create, as the work is heavily mechanised. The figures will be sent to the Treasury, which is reviewing a package of job stimulus measures for July. The report’s authors say a job in home insulation can be created for £59,000 – that’s far less than a road maintenance job, which is estimated by the government to be more than £250,000. Those figures include retrofitting 10 homes with insulation, and the road surface laid by a worker. The report comes from a coalition of charities, businesses and pressure groups known as the Energy Efficiency Infrastructure Group (EEIG). Their aim is to upgrade the UK’s aged housing stock. They say home insulation would create jobs in all areas of the UK as well as supporting the government’s aim of net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
BBC 11th June 2020 read more »
Promises to ‘level up’ parts of the country that had fallen on hard times, sitting at the heart of the 2019 Conservative manifesto, were one key factor behind the election victory. Barely six months later, it is now the economic fallout from the coronavirus that is hitting many areas hard, especially in the ‘red wall’ seats that underpinned Boris Johnson’s landslide into Downing Street. With now less than a month until Johnson et al unveil their plans for getting the country back on its feet, apparently ushering in a fairer and greener society, there will be no shortage of discussions on how Government cash can be put to best use. The harsh reality of rapidly rising unemployment is not evenly distributed around the country. Instead, it is soaring most in areas already down on their luck. The likes of Blackpool, Wolverhampton and Middlesbrough have been identified as some of the hardest hit by coronavirus. In Blackpool almost 11% of people are unemployed, well above the national average of 3.9%. There is also a demand for work, with a third of people who are not economically active looking for employment, double the national average. These are also areas with huge potential to upgrade homes to meet the Government’s efficiency goals. In Blackpool, 75% of homes are rated D or below on the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) scale, 67% in Middlesbrough and 70% in Wolverhampton. These figures represent millions of houses upon which work could begin almost instantly.
ECIU 10th June 2020 read more »