Labour has called on the Government to ‘build it in Britain’ and to support the creation of 400,000 new jobs with a green economic recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.
Ahead of this month’s Comprehensive Spending Review, Labour is calling for an economic recovery that they argue will deliver high-skilled, green jobs across the country. The opposition party is also calling for investment in low-carbon infrastructure.
Labour’s call follows a consultation with businesses, trade unions and other stakeholders around what a credible green recovery should look like, which received almost 2,000 responses.
They urged the Government to bring forward £30bn of planned capital investment over the next 18 months, which they said should be dedicated to low-carbon sectors as part of a stimulus package to support up to an estimated 400,000 jobs.
They also called for an emergency training programme to be put in place that would equip people affected by the unemployment crisis with the skills they need for the future greener economy.
Labour also said that business should be rebuilt with the creation of a National Investment Bank that could focus on green investment.
‘We face a jobs emergency and a climate emergency. It’s time for a bold and ambitious plan to deliver hundreds of thousands of jobs which can also tackle the climate crisis,’ said Ed Miliband, the shadow secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy.
‘This is the right thing to do for so many people who are facing unemployment, the right thing to do for our economy to get a lead in the industries of the future and the right thing to do to build a better quality of life for people in our country.’
Among other recommendations, Labour said that the Government should be investing in upgrading ports and shipyards for offshore wind supply chains, and expanding investment in carbon capture and storage, hydrogen, and electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
‘As other countries lead the way with a green recovery, Britain is hesitating,’ Mr Miliband added.
‘It’s time to end the dither and inaction, and start delivering now. It is what the British people deserve and what the crises we face demand.’
A Government spokesperson said: 'In March, the chancellor set out plans for a record amount of capital investment and we will set out further details in this month’s Spending Review about how this will help deliver our Net Zero climate target.
'We have already set out billions of pounds in green investment, including decarbonisation and greener homes, electric vehicle charging infrastructure, walking and cycling infrastructure, flood defences and backing offshore wind to power every UK home by 2030.
'And our investment in new technologies will continue creating green jobs as we build back greener from COVID.'