Green jobs crucial to replacing jobs lost to Covid in Midlothian

New research from Green New Deal UK has found that investment into green infrastructure in Midlothian could not only replace all jobs lost here due to Covid-19, but also provide a further 242 jobs within two years.

Thursday, 22nd April 2021, 6:00 am
Stock photo of peat measurement. Credit RSPB.

This trend is reflected in the region, with the potential for 44,037 jobs to be created in Scotland over the next two years. Across the wider UK, government and private investment in green infrastructure, energy, research and development, digital infrastructure and social care could create more than 1.2 million green jobs within just two years and more than 2.7 million jobs in 10 years.

In March, the Office of National Statistics found that despite the worsening climate crisis and growing pandemic-induced unemployment, the UK's green workforce actually shrank between 2014 and 2019, falling from 235,900 in 2014 to 202,100 in 2019.

Hannah Martin, co-executive director of Green New Deal UK, said: “Every day people are losing their jobs and struggling to find work due to Covid-19. At a time when we need to rapidly decarbonise our economy and build resilient future industries which will allow people and our planet to prosper, having so many people out of work makes no sense.

"We have so much work to do to build the future we need, but we must see proper government investment to kick-start that green jobs revolution. Our data shows the huge potential for green jobs in the UK, providing millions of good jobs in every part of the country.”

The analysis challenges what constitutes a green job, including work in sectors such as care which have a relatively low environmental impact and which the UK urgently needs to scale up to deal with the fallout from the pandemic and Britain’s ageing population.

Hannah added: “We need to broaden our understanding of what makes a job green. A truly green economy is so much more than wind turbines, solar panels and electric vehicles - it is an army of retrofitters, carers, bike couriers and teachers, up and down the country, all working towards transforming our economy.

"Without a doubt, it is workers that have shouldered the greatest suffering during the pandemic. So it is crucial that we put those workers at the heart of our recovery with a Green New Deal.”