Green jobs can drive UK recovery from coronavirus

Placing green jobs at the heart of the UK’s recovery from Covid-19 can ensure long-term growth, according to a report.

On 19 October, researchers from the London School of Economics’ Centre for Economic Performance and the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and Environment assured that investing in jobs to meet the UK’s net zero goal will support delivery of the government’s levelling-up agenda, while paving the way for sustainable and resilient longer-term growth. It identified six key areas for investment, including energy efficiency in buildings, and renewable power generation, distribution and storage.

The other areas deemed to be worthy of focus were carbon capture, use and storage and blue and green hydrogen production; natural capital projects; active travel equipment and infrastructure; and electric vehicle (EV) production and charging infrastructure.

It called on government to place net zero aligned investments at the heart of the UK’s recovery plan; to design recovery policies and investments seeking to create and sustain jobs; to ensure robust monitoring and evaluation for investment made in the recovery package, to expand the evidence base and inform future policy; and to complement net zero aligned investments with targeted reskilling for those displaced in the current crisis along with those who will be displaced by ongoing technological change and the zero carbon transition.

It added that the investments should be accompanied with strengthened policies, institutions and regulation to direct private sector investment towards achieving societal goals, such as net zero. A robust net zero aligned carbon price, a National Investment Bank and a relaunched, long-term Industrial Strategy with sustainability placed at its core could act as a starting point for this.