Union body highlights low-carbon jobs opportunity

22nd July 2016


Related Topics

Related tags

  • Adaptation ,
  • Mitigation ,
  • Renewable

Author

Alastair Peattie

The TUC is urging Theresa May's government to secure a major share of the future global clean energy industry for the UK by putting low-carbon industry at the heart of its new industrial strategy.

In a report published today, the union body outlines how UK industry could compete with Denmark and Germany, which have developed economic strategies based on the growth in renewable energy.

It said government support for new low-carbon industries should be targeted at communities that have struggled to prosper after the demise of heavy industry and at workers whose livelihoods are at risk from the transition to a low-carbon economy.

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady called on the newly formed Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy to seize the opportunity presented by combining climate change and industrial policy in one department and use green technologies to deliver new jobs. ‘There is an opportunity to get a share of the $500 bn global renewable energy industry for the UK,’ she said.

Advocates for a sustainable industrial strategy should build a consensus across political parties, business organisations and trade unions, and set out a roadmap, the TUC report recommends.

The union body wants 50% of the UK’s energy to come from renewable sources by 2050 and the government to reverse cuts to renewable energy subsidies. A study should be undertaken to investigate what technologies the UK would need to reach the 2050 target and what industries could be developed in the UK, it said.

The union body also recommends that:

  • any new trade agreement between the UK and EU includes social clauses similar to those enshrined in EU procurement directives to support jobs and skills in the sector;
  • the Institute for Apprenticeships, an employer-led body being created by government to drive an apprenticeship programme in the UK, should plan for training to meet the needs of a sustainable industrial policy; and
  • privatisation of the Green Investment Bank should be halted and the bank given additional borrowing powers.

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