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Labour on attack

75,000 green jobs lost due to failed policies, says Starmer

Sir Keir Starmer iin Edinburgh

Sir Keir Starmer: country going backwards (pic: Terry Murden)

Labour leader Keir Starmer says Britain is failing to build a green economy with more than 75,000 job losses in the sector in the last five years.

Sir Keir accuses the UK government of “broken promises:” and the Scottish government of “going backwards”.

During a visit to Scotland he said the Scottish National Party, has broken its pledge to create 130,000 green jobs by 2020.

Figures show progress on green jobs going backwards in Scotland, with fewer direct jobs today than in 2014, making up just a fifth of the green jobs promised by the SNP, he said.

The figures show a loss of 33,800 direct jobs and a further 41,400 jobs in the supply chain for low carbon and renewable sectors between 2014 and 2019. This includes thousands of jobs lost in solar power, onshore wind, renewable electricity and bioenergy, and a huge fall in the number of jobs in the energy efficiency sector.


Sir Keir is in Scotland on a two-day visit focused on climate change, 100 days from the end of COP26 in Glasgow. The visit is part of the Labour leader’s summer programme – taking the Labour Party’s vision on the road and into Britain’s communities.

On a visit to a wind farm alongside Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar, Sir Keir will demand the Government delivers on the urgent need for action in what is the decisive decade for addressing climate change ahead of COP26.

Labour has called for £30bn in planned investment to be brought forward to support up to 400,000 jobs in manufacturing and low-carbon industries. The Party has also put forward plans to buy, make and sell more in Britain – proposals which would create more jobs in the UK green supply chain such as wind turbine manufacturing.

Labour says today’s figures throw into light the chasm between government rhetoric and reality, with huge falls in low-carbon employment and pledges to deliver green jobs but without a genuine green stimulus.

The UK Government this year axed the Green Homes Grant scheme, their flagship green policy, despite the potential of retrofitting homes to create tens of thousands of jobs and drive down energy bills. And international comparisons show the UK is the sixth worst for green infrastructure investment out of the G7.

Sir Keir said: “Tackling the climate crisis must be at the heart of everything we do. We are at a critical moment. In less than 100 days, COP26 will be over and our chance to keep the planet’s warming below 1.5 degrees will have either been grasped or abandoned.

“The UK must rise to this moment and lead by example. That means rapid action to create good, green jobs across the country. And it means a proper strategy to buy, make and sell more in Britain, to create good, unionised jobs in clean energy and through supply chains.

“We’ve had a decade of broken promises on green jobs and climate action under the Conservatives. And we are going backwards in Scotland, too. For all the rhetoric, both parties have overseen a significant loss of green jobs.

“Nobody here in the UK can afford for this issue to be yet another example of Boris Johnson bluster. We need real action, now. It is time for a Green New Deal.”

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Scottish Labour Leader Anas Sarwar added: “I want Glasgow to be synonymous with world-leading action on climate change, but from both the Tories and the SNP, all we get is talk but no substance.

“Nowhere is this failure clearer than the lack of green jobs. We need to urgently close the gap between promises and delivery.

“Only Labour, across the whole of the UK, will deliver the high skilled jobs that both our country and our planet so desperately need.”

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