Meer as 9,000 green jobs could be created in Cumbria, volgens 'n verslag, far more than the 500 jobs promised by a planned coalmine in the county.
The report was published the day after the communities secretary reversed his original decision that the mine did not conflict with national policy and was a local matter. Robert Jenrick cited rising controversy and new climate advice as reasons for the U-turn.
The government had been criticised by its own climate advisers and leading scientists for failing to block the coalmine, which would produce fuel for steel production rather than electricity generation.
Critics said the pit plan seriously undermined the UK’s leadership as it prepares to host a crucial UN climate summit in November. There will now be a public inquiry but it is unclear whether the final decision will be made before the UN summit.
Die verslag doen said the green jobs in Cumbria would mostly result from a quadrupling of renewable energy and energy efficiency overhauls of 90% of buildings over the next 15 jare. All seven councils in Cumbria have pledged to become carbon neutral and a target to be net zero by 2037 has been set by the Zero Carbon Cumbria Partnership, which is co-chaired by the county council.
Creating the jobs would require many billions of pounds in investment, but the report’s backers said the government’s commitment to a green industrial revolution and to levelling up less affluent parts of the country could support this.
“We have a global responsibility to do our bit,” said Karen Mitchell, the chief executive of Cumbria Action for Sustainability, the organisation that commissioned the report. “The coalmine is just looking backwards: why invest in that instead of in new technologies that have a longer-term future?”
Sy het bygevoeg: “We’re in a climate emergency and Cumbria is often at the frontline of that.” The county has been hit by the worst flooding in centuries in recent years, with scientists finding the 2015 floods were made significantly more likely by global heating.
Mitchell said she understood the need for jobs in the county, some parts of which are among the poorest in England. But she said green jobs bring additional benefits such as cutting people’s heating bills, reducing air pollution and boosting healthy travel such as cycling: “There are lots of co-benefits that you don’t get when you’re sending people down a deep dark hole.”
Prof Rebecca Willis from the University of Lancaster said: “The Whitehaven coalmine proposals are totally at odds with UK climate legislation. Cumbria shouldn’t be chasing dirty jobs with no future, it should be working with government to bring green investment to an area that really needs it.”
Cumbria council approved the mine in October. But as the backlash grew, the council said in February it would reconsider the decision in order to take into account climate advice published in December by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), the same advice now cited by Jenrick.
If approved, the £165m project would be the UK’s first underground mine in 30 years and produce 2.7m tonnes of coking coal a year. The government said this coal would otherwise have to be imported, but about 85% of the coal is planned for export and there is no shortage of such coal globally.
The green jobs report, funded by a philanthropic foundation, estimated that 5,800 jobs could be created in renewable energy, mostly onshore wind and solar. Nog een 2,000 jobs could be in retrofitting most of the 250,000 dwellings in Cumbria, en 500 jobs could be in waste management, increasing the recycling rate to 90%.
A government spokesperson said: “The UK is a world leader in the fight against climate change, and we are determined to seize the economic opportunities and build back greener from the pandemic by supporting up to 2m green jobs across the country – including Cumbria – by 2030.”
The government said its £12bn plan for a green industrial revolution would unlock three times as much private sector investment and support up to 250,000 green jobs by 2030. Op Donderdag, the government announced a £95m investment in two new offshore wind ports to be constructed in the Humber region and Teesside, creating 6,000 werksgeleenthede. It plans to end coal burning in power stations by October 2024.
Some northern MPs reacted angrily to Jenrick’s U-turn, met een, Mark Jenkinson, calling it a “kick in the teeth”, but Greenpeace said it was “better late than never”. Ed Miliband, the shadow business secretary, gesê: “After months of pressure, ministers have finally been forced to act. The government must now block the mine and focus instead on creating low-carbon jobs in Cumbria and across the country with a proper green stimulus.”