Published today (22 October), the report urges ministers to spur the creation of green jobs in the so-called ‘Northern Powerhouse’ area, where communities have been disproportionately affected by job losses due to the shrinking of the coal sector.

Specifically, the report claims that 28,000 jobs in the coal, oil and gas industries could be lost in the region by 2030, creating a need for alternative roles in the renewables sector.

The think-tank notes in the report that the North of England produced around half (48%) of the renewable electricity generated across the nation between 2005 and 2014, claiming that this progress makes the region well-poised to host to the UK’s green energy transition.

The report concludes that this vision can only be realised if the Government addresses uncertainty around Brexit, improves the education and skills system and provides more long-term policy for decarbonising the power sector. If these measures are enacted in full, around 46,000 new roles will be created in low-carbon sectors across the region, the report claims.

“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,” report co-author and IPPR research fellow Josh Emden said.

“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”.

Finding true north

The report marks the latest in a long string of calls for ministers to place an increased focus on the North of England’s role in the low-carbon transition.

In 2016, more than 80 organisations from across the region – including the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, businesses and nature conservation organisations – urged then-Chancellor George Osbourne to back renewable energy projects across the region in the annual Budget.

The Aldersgate Group has previously made calls for ministers to implement policy frameworks “championed investment” in the North’s uptake of low-carbon projects.  

As of September 2016, there were around 136,000 jobs in the North’s low-carbon energy sector.

Sarah George

Comments (1)

  1. Sue Lee-Richards says:

    How old is this report? People have been saying this for a decade or more but it is not happening. ‘Deeds not words’ was a slogan the suffragettes used in their campaign for the vote, and as the article points out there is opportunity, ‘provided the government takes the critical policy action needed.’
    Consulting with Purpose Ltd wrote a report in conjunction with SGURR Energy proposing Yorkshire and the Humber become a centre of excellence for all aspects of renewable energy in the mid 2000s for the Yorkshire and Humber Assembly unfortunately this was usurped by a coal report done at the same time which only advocated CCS.

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