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Green Jobs Plan must not be kicked into the long grass by the next government

The next Government must commit to delivering the Green Jobs Plan – that was due to be published in a matter of weeks – says the Institute of Environmental Management & Assessment (IEMA).

After more than three years of development with industry, trade unions and skills sector participants – with a Green Jobs Taskforce followed by Green Jobs Delivery Group – the Department for Energy Security & Net Zero has been forced to place on-hold plans to publish in June due to the election.

Sarah Mukherjee, CEO for IEMA, which represents almost 22,000 environment and sustainability professionals, said delivery of the Green Jobs Plan was IEMA’s #1 Policy Ask because ‘green skills’ fundamentally underpinned the UK’s transition to a cleaner economy.

Sarah Mukherjee, IEMA CEO, said: “Green jobs in the UK are growing nearly four times faster than overall UK employment.

“But there is a green skills gap looming, with demand for green skills growing nearly twice as fast as the growth in green talent.

“The Green Jobs Plan was to provide sector by sector analysis, detailing where investment in green jobs and skills was most needed to grow the economy, improve productivity and tackle net zero.

“If unaddressed, the green skills shortage will compromise efforts to achieve legally-binding carbon and environmental targets. Taking action now will also mean that workers currently employed in the fossil fuels sector can transition into clean energy roles.”

IEMA’s Key Policy Asks include:

Delivery of a Green Jobs Plan that sets out how investment in green jobs and skills will be channelled across different economic sectors.
The establishment of a permanent cross-government body – such as a Green Jobs Council – to ensure we have the skilled workforce needed to deliver our vital climate and environmental goals.
The urgent need to design and implement a robust plan to protect 30% of the land and of the sea for nature’s recovery, by 2030 (30by30).
Development of a national circular strategy to ensure materials and products needed for our transition to a net zero economy are reused, remanufactured and recycled.
Development of a clear investment and deployment roadmap for onshore wind as recommended by the Skidmore Review, and the establishment of a speedier regime for good projects to connect to the grid.
Creation of a National Environmental Assessment Unit to ensure planning reforms earmarked to revoke conventional Environment Impact Assessments do not risk delivering worse outcomes for people and the natural environment. While mandating the use of competent experts and ensuring more meaningful public participation in the planning system.