Three Important Environmental Reports Released:
Three important Environmental Reports on Green issues have been recently published in the UK.
Green Jobs Task Force Report
First is the ‘Green Jobs Task Force Report’.
This report is to government, industry and the skills sector. The GJTF, comprising of members from industry, academia, trade unions and the education and skills sector, was convened to advise government on the skills and training requirements for the green workforce of the future.
The report stresses the urgency of the need to tackle climate change which has become increasingly apparent and across the globe popular support for action is growing. In parallel, the potential economic opportunities of the transition to a low carbon economy are becoming clearer, with domestic and global markets in low carbon technologies estimated to be worth billions of pounds to the UK economy over the coming decades. All sectors of the UK will go through a transformation on the journey to net zero and this will impact the workers and communities they sustain.
The report states that the transformation is well underway. Across the UK there are already over 410,000 jobs in low carbon businesses and their supply chains, with turnover estimated at £42.6 billion in 2019, and the value of goods and services exported by UK low carbon businesses exceeding £7 billion.
Last year, in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, the government set out its Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution. This plan will support up to 250,000 green jobs in 2030, by seeking to develop long-term advantage for the UK in new low carbon sectors. Investments in these sectors are expected to drive funding and jobs across the UK, from electric vehicle manufacture in the midlands, to construction and installation of offshore wind farms around the coast and the retrofitting of homes across the country.
However, the UK can go much further the report adds. The government has set an ambition for two million green jobs in the UK by 2030. The Green Jobs Taskforce was announced as part of the Ten Point Plan, bringing together industry, academia, trade unions and the skills sector, to independently advise the government, industry and the skills sector on how the UK can deliver this ambition and support our industries and workers in this transition. The Taskforce worked between November 2020 and July 2021. This report sets out its key findings and recommendations.
The Greener Jobs Alliance plan to devote a special edition of the GJA newsletter to publish views on various aspects of the report.
A copy of the Green Jobs Task Force Report is attached.
Decarbonising Transport – A Better Greener Britain
This report has been produced by the Department for Transport.
With the climate impact of transport, particularly cars and aeroplanes, extremely high profile in climate debates, it is clear that radical action is needed to transform how we travel (and how much).
The Report states that the UK is a climate leader: the first major economy to set legally binding carbon budgets, amounts by which greenhouse gas emissions must come down, and by when. The UK was the first major economy to legislate to end its contribution to climate change. By law the UK’s emissions must now be net zero by 2050.
The Report covers the UK’s ambitious roads programme, reflecting on the fact that in any imaginable circumstances the clear majority of longer journeys, passenger, and freight, will be made by road; and that rural, remote areas will always depend more heavily on roads. That is why the plan to decarbonise motor transport, the most ambitious of any major country, is so vital. In November, the UK announced that new diesel and petrol cars and vans would no longer be sold from 2030, and that all new cars and vans must be fully zero emission at the tailpipe from 2035, a plan that is only possible now the UK is no longer a member of the EU. Alongside this document, the UK has published a consultation on ending the sale of all non-zero emission HGVs from 2040, with lighter HGVs from 2035. There will be consultation on setting phase out dates for all non-zero emission road vehicles, with 2040 as a backstop, setting a path to a time when every vehicle on the roads will be zero emission.
The Report adds that the UK has committed to including international aviation, and shipping, in the Sixth Carbon Budget, and proposes to set a high-ambition CO2 emissions reduction trajectory for it from 2025 to 2050 against which progress will be measured. A ‘Jet Zero’ consultation, published alongside this plan, sets out how in more detail. And a ‘Jet Zero Council’ will build on British leadership in sustainable aviation fuels to deliver truly guilt-free flying. The UK is already the home of the world’s first hydrogen aircraft and the UK has set the nation’s objective of flying the first zero emission flight across the Atlantic.
Objectives in the Report:
- Increasing cycling and walking
- Decarbonising the railways
- Zero emission buses and coaches
- A zero emission fleet of cars, vans, motorcycles, and scooters
- Accelerating maritime decarbonisation
- Accelerating aviation decarbonisation
- Delivering a zero emission freight and logistics sector
- Maximising the benefits of sustainable low carbon fuels
- Delivering decarbonisation through places
- Hydrogen’s role in a decarbonised transport system
- Future transport – more choice, better efficiency
- Supporting UK research and development as a decarbonisation enabler
A copy of the Decarbonising Transport A Better Greener Britain Report is attached.
Fairness and Opportunity – A People Plan For The Green Transition
This new Report has been produced by the Institute for Public Policy Research for the Environmental Justice Commission.
The Environmental Justice Commission was established in May 2019 in recognition that action to address the accelerating climate and nature emergencies can be about more than staving off the worst; it can be about imagining a better world which can be built together.
The Report states that realising this vision will require a new approach which understands the inextricable link between addressing the climate and nature crises with the necessary speed and ambition, and simultaneously tackling economic and social injustice. The transformation must be rooted in fairness.
The Report states that a successful transition means that people must be at the heart of the policy making process, and those most affected by change must be the ones to shape it.
This final Report of the Environmental Justice Commission sets out a vision for the future of the UK. Part one defines the shifts needed in the UK’s approach to addressing the climate and nature crises and makes the case for a ‘new social contract’, to deliver a transition that is both rapid and fair. Part two, in five chapters, outlines the practical steps proposed by the EJC. Each contains proposals on what the EJC think needs to be done, when and by whom.
A copy of the Fairness And Opportunity Report is attached.
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer