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During the past few months there has been a great deal of talk about the need for the UK’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic to be powered by investment in sustainable projects and programmes across all parts of the economy. Few would argue with this approach, but making it a reality will be challenging. We must align the appropriate enabling policies, regulations and standards, along with the support of businesses and consumers. We will also need a workforce that can deliver projects and services in a sustainable way.

Green jobs and skills have recently been the subject of an Environmental Audit Committee inquiry, initiated to help the Committee understand the jobs, skills and training needed to ensure the UK can meet its long-term environmental and climate objectives (eg achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050).

IEMA provided both written and oral evidence to the inquiry, with the latter given by IEMA director of policy and external affairs Martin Baxter. The central theme of IEMA’s evidence was the need for the government to put in place a comprehensive green jobs and skills strategy, tied directly to the delivery of the UK’s long-term environmental and climate objectives.

The strategy will require several key ingredients to succeed, including commitments to make all jobs greener and to ensure all parts of society have access to emerging green jobs and skills as part of a just transition. More details on what IEMA believes should be included, plus footage of Martin giving evidence to the Committee, can be found at bit.ly/2Mg82a7

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