How The Green Economy is Creating New Jobs

A blog from Network members OggaDoon.

As times change, one of the main worries is long-standing jobs becoming redundant. From self-serve checkouts to unmanned Amazon grocery stores, technology is taking over and human jobs are, seemingly, being scrapped. So, for many, it could be hard to see how the green economy is creating new jobs.

But with change comes new priorities and, while some technology that makes our jobs quicker, easier, and often more sustainable may be eradicating human roles, that doesn’t mean there aren’t new jobs coming up as a result of these same technologies.

In fact, in the UK alone the green economy is predicted to create over 700,000 new jobs by 2030, and up to 1.18 million new jobs in low carbon sectors by 2050. And the even better news is that many of these jobs are likely to appear in North East, Devon and Cornwall and Yorkshire and the Humber – areas highly affected by job loss and low employment in recent years.

As a result of COP26, local authorities found that if local councils and governments are given power over regional job creation, the green economy is likely to create far more jobs than it shuts down. That’s because councils have so much power in helping their areas to achieve net zero. Councils, unlike any other governing body, are able to impact the emissions from villages, towns, and cities through their management of transport, housing, and the local environment.

So far in 2022 alone, the Crown Estate Scotland launched a capital investment fund offering £3 million to support innovation in sectors including agriculture, green energy, waste reduction, and aquaculture. It also launched a fund to increase boat-based tourism and one to support business diversification and community regeneration through local partnerships. All three are designed to promote Scotland’s natural resources and will include the development of jobs to these initiatives.

Similarly, a Careers Wales report looking at the country’s green economy between 2020-2021 has identified the increased demand for green jobs. 72% more ‘green jobs’ have been advertised over the past five years, indicating an overall increase in job opportunities. This comes at the same time as Wales TUC estimating up to 60,000 indirect and 45,500 direct jobs coming over the next two years as part of Wales’ green recovery and government investment in key projects.

Also in March 2022, the East Midlands Freeport secured Government approval for plans to offer special initiatives to businesses located in the Freeport. This is estimated to create 61,000 new jobs and inject £8.9 billion into the economy over the next 30 years.

On the flipside – because of course there always is one – the Office for National Statistics reported that in 2020, no significant change was made in the turnover or number of jobs in low carbon sectors. In fact, employment in these areas is thought to have fallen by around 28,000 across the UK. But it’s not all doom and gloom – we must remember that jobs in all sectors were lost in 2020, but the economy is recovering at a good pace and the predictions for new job creation are looking positive. And so, hopefully, the future is bright in the new, green world.

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