The transition to a zero-carbon economy will lead to the phasing out of some occupations, together with new employment opportunities, according to a new report from the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs.
The Government-backed study, Skills for Zero Carbon, outlines recommendations for delivery of the Government’s climate action plan, which includes carbon neutrality by 2050 and binding targets for emissions reduction over the next decade.
The report was launched this week as the European Public Services Union (EPSU) expressed its ‘profound disappointment’ with the outcome of the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow.
It forecasts that, in order to meet the climate action plan targets, employment in wind and solar energy generation will have to quickly increase from 3,000 to 8,000, before reaching 9,000 by 2030. And the workforce engaged in residential retrofit and heat pump installation will have to ramp up more than fourfold to over 17,000.
Meanwhile, the latest EPSU newsletter highlighted the last-minute interventions that weakened the final COP26 agreement. “The Glasgow climate pact, the final set of positions and decisions adopted by around 200 states, didn’t include the phase-out of coal or firm commitments on finance to assist developing countries and especially the island communities threatened with extinction.
“An unashamed last-minute power play by China and India managed to weaken the language on coal leaving it as phasing-down rather than a full phasing-out.
“Without firm action to keep coal in the ground, emissions will increase and we have the presence of a large number of fossil-fuel industry lobbyists to thank for this result,” it said. Research by the Trade Unions for Energy Democracy coalition shows that emissions continue to increase and are already back at 2019 levels despite the pandemic.
The Government’s report on future skills is available from the website of the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment.
It’s never been more important – or easier – to get the protections and benefits of union membership. Join Fórsa HERE or contact us HERE.