Up to 660,000 jobs will be seriously threatened if the UK continues to fall behind other countries in the amount it invests in green infrastructure and jobs, according to an alarming study released on Saturday.
Barely two months before Boris Johnson’s government hosted the United Nations climate conference, COP26 in Glasgow, the TUC report makes it clear that the impact on UK employment due to displacement offshore jobs to countries at the forefront of green investment and technology will be particularly acute in UK industrial centers in the North West, Yorkshire and the Humber.
Separate research conducted by the TUC in June found that the UK is second to the bottom of the G7 economy rankings for its record investing in green investments and jobs – despite Johnson’s claims to be a leading force in the race to save the planet from warming globalization.
While the UK Treasury is only expected to invest around £ 180 per person in green recovery and jobs over the next decade, President Joe Biden plans to allocate more than £ 2,960 per person to a green recovery in states United: jobs and programs involving public transport, electric vehicles and energy efficient retrofits.
Relative to population, the UK’s investment in green recovery is only 24% that of France, 21% of that of Canada and 6% of that of the US.
The study, launched on the first day of its annual convention, which marks the start of the political speaking season, says jobs in UK sectors such as the steel industry are at serious risk as manufacturing still depends on the process harmful to the environment from burning coal. at high temperatures. Other countries are leading the way in technologies that enable the production of “green” high quality non-carbon steel, and these pioneers will thrive and develop as old “dirty” producers wither and die.
Last month, Swedish company Hybrit announced delivery of its first batch of “green steel” to carmaker Volvo while another Swedish company, H2 Green Steel, plans a hydrogen plant that will start production in 2024 .
The report says 79,000 jobs are at risk as more countries embark on green development, in the UK rubber and plastics sector, 63,200 in the UK chemicals sector and 26,900 in iron and steel. ‘steel. In total, it indicates that 260,000 manufacturing jobs could be at risk as well as 407,000 in supply chains.
Alan Coombs, a workplace representative for the community union who has worked at the Port Talbot steel mills for 40 years, said: “Companies overseas are already setting target dates for green steel. But the UK is not even putting its feet in the water.
“We have families here who are the third or fourth generation to work at the plant. If we don’t have apprentices in green steel technology soon, there won’t be another generation. If we are at the forefront of green innovation, we can protect the workforce. But government action is needed.
The TUC calls on the government to fund an £ 85 billion green stimulus package to create 1.24 million green jobs. In addition, it is stepping up calls for a program to help protect workers during this time and other sweeping industrial change, which would serve as a bridge for people in jobs and industries threatened by offshoring during the global transition to net zero.
The union says such job protection programs exist in Germany, Japan and many US states, producing significant savings on layoffs, training and hiring costs, and allowing companies to keep qualified personnel on their books.
TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “The world is very clearly moving in one direction – away from carbon and towards net zero. The UK must keep pace with the change. There is still time to protect vital jobs in manufacturing and its supply chains.
“But time is running out. Unless the government urgently increases investment in green technology and industry, we risk losing hundreds of thousands of jobs to competing countries. If we act quickly, we can still protect Britain’s industrial heart. “
The Ministry of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has been approached for comment.