Politicians have made promises of green jobs and skills in the run-up to the general election in May.
All political parties made a slew of environmental and climate commitments at the launch of their manifestos this month, but some put a much stronger emphasis on the wider economic and social benefits than others.
The Conservatives promise to create three million new apprenticeships but make no mention of what sectors these would be in.
By contrast, Labour’s manifesto promises to make Britain “a world leader in low carbon technologies over the next decade, creating a million additional green jobs”. This will be done, it says, through “ambitious domestic carbon reduction targets, including a legal target to remove the carbon from our electricity supply by 2030, and a major drive for energy efficiency”.
The Liberal Democrats are also strong on the contribution of environmental industries to the economy. In particular, they say the UK has a real opportunity to generate jobs and prosperity while developing a circular economy, improving the energy efficiency of the country’s building stock and growing its advanced manufacturing sector.
“We will grow a high-skill, low-carbon economy by supporting education, training, infrastructure, innovation and technology,” say the Lib Dems. “With a stable, competitive business environment and investment in green industries and infrastructure, we will ensure growth is embedded in every part of the UK.”
The Green Party also pledges to create over one million jobs through its programme of green investment and by restoring the public sector, and says it would prioritise training in the skills needed to build a low-carbon economy.
Plaid Cymru would also set up a Green Skills College to develop the skills needed to make the Welsh economy more environmentally friendly.
But neither the SNP nor UKIP mention green jobs or skills.