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Northern Powerhouse Could be Fuelled by 46,000 New Green Jobs by 2030

Workers in the North of England could benefit from 46,000 new green jobs by 2030, according to a leading think-tank.

The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) has today published a report which calls on Government to “learn from the mistakes of the past” whereby communities in the North of England have been disproportionately affected by job losses from the carbon energy sector.

The North is home to the largest number of coal and gas power stations in England, but coalfield communities continue to feel the negative impacts of closures and job losses, and figures show that a further 28,000 jobs in the coal, oil and gas industries could be lost in the region by 2030. However, the North also produced almost half- 48%- of the UK’s renewable electricity between 2005 and 2014, and if given the support and powers needed from Government, has the potential to be home to a clean energy revolution.

Today’s report calls for a “just transition” so that Northern energy workers can continue to access well paid, skilled jobs in the low carbon energy sector, which would mean that the North could continue to lead the way on tackling climate change and powering the nation.

IPPR sets out that in order to achieve this, Government will need to address uncertainty around Brexit, improve the education and skills system, and provide long-term policy for decarbonisation - something that must be at the heart of Government’s Industrial Strategy.

Josh Emden, Research Fellow at IPPR and co-author of the report, said:

The Government must learn from the mistakes of the past and ensure that this time there is a just transition into the low carbon energy sector and beyond, for workers in the North of England who have powered the UK for decades.

“The good news is that the opportunity is there for the North of England to become a powerhouse for the UK once again, provided the government takes the critical policy action needed”.

Luke Murphy, Associate Director at IPPR and co-author of the report, said:

“With nearly half of the UK’s renewable energy being produced in the North, it is clear that the region is ideally placed to deliver a green jobs revolution of 46,000 new jobs by 2030.

“We know that decarbonising the economy is an urgent necessity if we are to limit the impacts of global warming.

“What the UK needs now is for Government to commit to long-term policy for decarbonisation, where communities are protected from decline and supported to thrive through mechanisms like the industrial strategy and an improved skills system, so that we can realise a new era of prosperity for the communities that quite literally power the powerhouse”.

Sarah Longlands, Director of IPPR North said:

“This report highlights the importance of the energy sector for the North’s future prosperity, and for the first time makes the connection between economic opportunity and economic justice by calling for a ‘just transition’.

“The benefits of the energy sector in the North will only be fully realised if the people who are already working in the industry are given the time, skills and support which enables them to make the most of new opportunities in low carbon energy”.