Unions highlight green jobs threat
Monday 21st October 2013, 4:52PM BST.
Hundreds of thousands of jobs are at risk because of politicians’ “timidity” on investing in green measures, the TUC has claimed.
A report said Britain was losing the global race on green growth, as some MPs start to “wrongly blame” green subsidies for soaring energy bills.
An analysis by the TUC found that gas and electricity prices have risen by 152% over the past decade, four times faster than inflation, even before the latest increases by British Gas and SSE are taken into account.
General secretary Frances O’Grady will tell the TUC’s annual climate change conference in London: ” The Government has been guilty of dithering over two of the biggest challenges we face today – our cost of living crisis and the need to tackle climate change by reducing carbon emissions.
“Caught on the back foot by Ed Miliband’s pledge to freeze energy bills, some MPs are now trying to twist this cost of living issue into one that fits their anti-green agenda.
“Consumers want action from politicians to tackle the excess profits and undeserved bonuses of the big six energy companies. Instead, green investment is now being criticised, often by the same people who champion tax breaks for fracking, recently announced by the Chancellor.
“Politicians’ timidity on green investment is costing us all dear. Cutting carbon emissions should be a great opportunity for the UK to create new apprenticeships and jobs, and rejuvenate our manufacturing sector. Moving towards a low-carbon economy could generate sustainable growth outside London and the South East.”
A Department of Energy and Climate Change spokesperson said: ” The Government has been working to revolutionise our energy security, getting more investment in home-grown generation that doesn’t leave us reliant on foreign-controlled gas imports.
“We’re already attracting unprecedented investment in new, green generation – £29 billion since 2010 – and that’s even before our electricity market reforms that will support up to 250,000 jobs in the energy sector, most of them in new green energy generation.
“And we’re implementing policies that will see consumers better off, and better protected from price hikes, than if we hadn’t acted. By 2020 the average household bill will be around 11% lower than if we’d done nothing.”