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GREENPEACE

 

Greenpeace

 
 
Greenpeace
Click to Download the Document
 
GREENPEACE UK
Manifesto for a Green Recovery
https://www.greenpeace.org.uk/resources/green-recovery-manifesto/
 

The green recovery

Government measures to revive the economy should build on the UK’s existing industrial strengths and skills base, generate employment and offer significant multiplier effects while being mindful of the long term shape of the economy. They should also unlock private investment, level up ‘left behind’ regions, and deliver a wide range of co-benefits such as improved public health. They should also align with the Paris Agreement targets and delivery of net zero emissions.

Four priority areas for UK government action that would meet these requirements are:

  • Redesigning the transport system
  • Making UK buildings fit for the 21st century
  • Delivering a clean power system
  • Supporting nature and creating a circular economy.

Below we set out the specific policy, spending and tax measures that need to be delivered in unison in each of these areas to maximise the economic, social and environmental benefits of the post-Covid response.

All four of these priority areas should be viewed as intertwined, with successful action in one area being dependent on actions happening in the others. Our future homes not only need to be highly insulated to be warmer, more efficient and cheaper to run, but they must also support the clean power transition by having solar panels on the roof and using power for renewable heating. Our future electric transport system will be as dependent on an upgraded, smart and flexible grid as it will be on offshore wind and solar generation; and in return, more electric vehicles (EVs) will help provide extra storage capacity for renewable energy. Transitioning our power generation to renewables will give us clean electricity that can not only power our homes, offices and industries, but also be used to produce green hydrogen that will keep our power system running when there is no sun or wind and will help tougher-to-reform sectors such as shipping and steel clean up their footprints. All relevant government departments should therefore work together on these priorities in a coordinated way, and they should be approached together as a whole – with a just transition to a fair and sustainable future as the guiding principle.

Unless otherwise specified, all recommendations below are applicable UK-wide, with responsibility for delivery sitting with the Westminster government or devolved nations as appropriate.

Levelling up

In the wake of the Covid crisis, hundreds of thousands of people across the UK could lose their jobs as a result of the necessary restrictions on economic activity and the shrinking of many sectors. At the same time, a successful green recovery will create a huge number of new skilled jobs across the country in a range of emerging and expanding low carbon industries. These new jobs could help secure the long term economic security of thousands of households, while boosting GDP, increasing private investment and tackling the climate emergency. However, many of those at risk of unemployment at present are in sectors that require few formal qualifications and offer little in-work training. Therefore a proactive approach is needed now, with support for significant reskilling and training in order to help the workforce transition, to increase incomes and to boost productivity.

As part of this, devolved nations, city mayors and local authorities should be empowered to design and deliver just transition strategies that fit with specific local and regional needs. They should be given extra powers and resources to work with unions, trade associations and business groups such as the Confederation of British Industry to aid skills development, retraining and local investment – especially in places where many people are employed in carbon-intensive industries or their support industries. For example, while a faster transition to EVs through a phaseout of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030 could deliver employment growth to the auto industry compared to a later date, 11% of current jobs in the sector are specific and non-transferable. A specialist programme of retraining and reskilling in EV assembly and manufacture will be required to address this issue. Similarly, growing numbers of skilled workers from the oil and gas sector are already being reemployed in sustainable industries – for example, over a third of the offshore wind industry’s marine engineers used to work in oil and gas. However, significant specialist retraining and re-skilling of oil and gas sector workers with less transferable skills will now be required at pace, especially in the wake of the oil price crash and thousands of associated job losses that are now forecasted. Over the next three years, as a starting point, the proposed Shared Prosperity Fund of £2.16 billion per year should be at least doubled to support tailored just transition programmes
of this kind.

The government should also explore delivering a new green jobs and training guarantee programme, as recently proposed by the Social Market Foundation. This would ensure that those who cannot otherwise find employment after the lockdown get a job and are paid at least the national living wage. 20% of the working week could be spent on training and education, with a particular emphasis on placements that help fill the low carbon skills gap in key areas such as home insulation, as identified by the Committee on Climate Change last year.

 

 

Joyce Brooks and Gerard Mc Keon.  Photo by:  Rose Billings / Blacktiemagazine.com

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