130,000 new green jobs could be created in Scotland, replacing all roles lost due to Covid-19

Government investment in key areas such as care work and renewable energy could create at least 130,000 green jobs in Scotland in the next two years, a new report shows.

The new jobs would be enough to replace every post lost as a result of the coronavirus crisis.

Analysis by social, economic and climate justice campaign group Green New Deal UK suggests thousands of new roles would be created in every region of Scotland helping people who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic, rebuilding communities and creating a greener society.

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This includes around 62,000 new jobs related to building the low-carbon infrastructure needed to reduce climate emissions, including in renewable energy, energy-efficiency for homes, digital technology and sustainable transport, and a further 60,000 in the care sector.

A new report suggests more than 130,000 new green jobs could be created across Scotland

“We need to broaden our understanding of what makes a job green,” said Hannah Martin, co-director at Green New Deal UK.

“A truly green economy is so much more than wind turbines, solar panels and electric vehicles – it is an army of retrofitters, carers, bike couriers and teachers up and down the country, all working towards transforming our economy.

“Without a doubt, it is workers that have shouldered the greatest suffering during the pandemic.

“So now it is crucial that we put those workers at the heart of our recovery with a Green New Deal.”

Glasgow-based GP Dr Claire Gaughan says the research - which shows more than 60,000 low-carbon jobs could be created in the care sector - should serve as "a wake-up call for all candidates in the Scottish elections"

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The report has been welcomed by environmentalists and health service workers.

Glasgow-based GP Dr Claire Gaughan said: “This research should be a wake-up call for all candidates in the Scottish elections.

"We have seen over the last ten years how the health of our communities has been undermined not just by unemployment, but by low-paid, precarious work too.

"Those of us working in the NHS see the impacts of this neglect every day.

“We’ve got to create new jobs, but if we end up increasing emissions and wrecking the planet then we will never truly recover from the current health crisis.

"The next Scottish government now has the chance to break the deadlock and invest in good-quality, well-paying green jobs that safeguard both our health and the environment. This is an opportunity it can’t afford to miss."

Ryan Morrison, just transition campaigner at Friends of the Earth Scotland, said: “The election comes at a critical time, with MSPs elected in May being tasked with rebuilding from the impacts of coronavirus as well as delivering the transformative action needed to create green jobs that will drive down climate emissions.

“The next Scottish Parliament must put people and climate action at the heart of decisions they make about the economy.”

Susanne Napier, care worker and Unite care sector shop steward, added: “The pandemic has shown that care sector workers provide a vital service in looking after some of Scotland’s most vulnerable people and planning for the future has to happen now.”

The new report coincides with a pledge to create new rural jobs across the country, set out by the Scottish Greens ahead of next month’s election.

The party has laid out plans to plant trees, restore peatlands and improve wetlands, rivers and coastlines to help tackle climate change – including a £150 million nature fund.

They say the moves will bring more than 1,500 new roles to Scotland.

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