Video: Green jobs

03 Mar 2021

In this week’s Budget, the Chancellor redoubled UK government’s commitment to create green growth, announcing various plans to accelerate and boost green jobs. But what evidence is there that policy support for green innitiatives will lead to net job creation, and help address the economic fallout following the Coronavirus pandemic?

A key question is whether investment in the low carbon transition can be combined with, and facilitate, post-COVID-19 economic growth. There have been a plethora of calls for investment in green jobs, skills and infrastructure to help kick-start economic recovery from COVID-19, in a way that is compatible with achieving net zero emissions and a societally just transition. The UK Government’s Energy White Paper, for example, sets out an aim to create up to 250,000 jobs by 2030 as part of a Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and in anticipation of recovery and stimulus packages, we have initiated a new systematic review of the evidence on ‘green jobs’. This research is still underway but has completed a preliminary scoping review report which can be found here.

Net jobs vs gross jobs

A key distinction to make when discussing green jobs is the difference between gross job impacts and net job impacts. Gross impacts include only the positive impact on employment associated with a particular investment. However, it is also important to consider if net jobs are created once the jobs that might be displaced in other parts of the economy as a result of the investment are also taken into account.

Watch our short video of Prof Rob Gross talking about this in more detail.

Our new analysis of the evidence around green jobs is assessing if policy-driven expansion of low carbon sectors actually creates jobs, particularly if the policies in question require subsidies that are paid through bills or taxes. One significant change since 2014 is the rapid reduction in costs of leading renewable energy technologies, and this changes the economic context that the project will explore.

This project has recently published a scoping note which can be found here.

We also recently submitted a response to the Environmental Audit Committee inquiry into Green Jobs which can be found here.