A green jobs drive will alleviate unemployment while moving the UK closer to its climate goals.
Party calls for green jobs blitz, as it launches month-long consultation that seeks views from businesses, industry groups, unions, workers, and campaigners on specific measures that can be taken to kick start a green recovery.
The Labour Party has called for the UK to enlist a ‘zero carbon army’ of workers that can move the country closer to its climate goals, while tackling esclating unemployment.
The party called for a major green jobs drive today, as it launched a month-long consultation that asks businesses, trade associations, unions, workers, and environmental groups to share their vision of a green recovery to the coronavirus crisis.
Shadow Business Secretary Ed Miliband and Shadow Chancellor Anneliese Dodds said the “rapid consultation” was seeking recommendations for “specific measures” on how the UK can leverage green jobs, technologies and industries to reboot its economy after the pandemic.
The responses will form the basis of Labour’s plan for a green economic recovery, they said.
The party also called on the government to take an “active role” in ensuring that all types of workers can be reskilled and retrained to enable them to work in low carbon industries that can move the UK closer to its climate goals.
Miliband stressed that retraining workers would ease high unemployment levels as the UK reeled from the unprecedented shock to its economy caused by the coronavirus.
“This is a moment of profound economic distress for the country,” he said. “People are losing their jobs at an alarming rate in the midst of the biggest recession for 300 years. We need a zero carbon army, helping all workers. There is so much work to be done, from home energy insulation to designing and producing zero emission vehicles to renewable energy production to reforesting and improving our green spaces and redesigning and improving our towns and cities.”
Miliband concluded: “This rapid consultation will seek views on specific measures that can be taken now to kick start a green recovery. We know that this work needs to be done if we are to meet our climate objectives.”
Meanwhile, Dodds stressed that public funds during the “depeest and wildest” recession in hundreds of years should be channelled towards sustaining and promoting employment in already-struggling areas.
“While the current recession is the deepest and widest in hundreds of years, the long-term costs of failing to deal with the climate crisis also pose grave risks for our economy,” she added. “We must ensure that the recovery builds back better.”
The consultation will run until the end of June and be run through Labour’s National Policy Forum.
The move comes in the same week as fresh reports emerged suggesting Chancellor Rishi Sunak is preparing to make climate action a top priority in the government’s economic stimulus package, which is due to be launched next month.
The plans are expected to include major new support for offshore wind, carbon capture and storage, building upgrades, and electric vehicles, among other green areas. However, environmental groups remain concerned about the scale of the new funding and the potential for it to be accompanied by increased support for carbon intensive companies and infrastructure.
On September 30th BusinessGreen will host the world’s first Net Zero Festival – a three day virtual summit committed to celebrating and advancing the net zero transition.
In support of the Race to Zero campaign we are offering one VIP pass for the digital event to any business or organisation that has a net zero target in place.
To apply for your VIP pass please send a link to your net zero pledge to [email protected] by Tuesday 9th June.