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160,000 Green Jobs must not be lost abroad - Mick Bates AM

June 10, 2009 1:51 PM

Shadow Minister for the Environment and Sustainability, Mick Bates AM, is calling on the UK Government to take action and intervene in the market in favour of renewable energy, to develop the skills and manufacturing capacity to support the green industry so that an estimated 160,000 jobs are not lost abroad and we can harness our potential for renewable energy generation to meet the UK targets on climate change.

Commenting, Welsh Lib Dem Mick Bates AM:

"For far too long the Government has refused to intervene in the market in favour of renewable technologies. The UK has challenging targets on renewable energy that must be met, but delivering on these targets will be impossible given the global squeeze on the provision of parts, unless we take real action to develop a domestic renewable energy industry in the UK.

"It is crucial that we increase the demand for green technologies in the UK, but this must be matched by investment in the skills and manufacturing capacity needed to support this green revolution, otherwise we will see jobs lost to European countries which have a much more developed renewable energy industry.

"Increasing our capacity for renewables would not only help to lower the cost of these technologies, but would also provide many new jobs during this time of recession. The UK Government estimates that over 160,000 jobs could be created if we meet the UK targets on climate change which would be an immense boost given the levels of unemployment that we are seeing across the country.

"The Welsh Government has consulted on a green jobs strategy but now we need to see action to develop the skills and manufacturing capacity to support an increase in green jobs so that Wales is not left behind by the green revolution. In the meantime more support for decentralised renewable energy is key, as with less challenges in terms of infrastructure and planning we could see a much faster roll out of clean, green energy across Wales."

Notes: According to a European Commission's study on the impact of renewable energy policy on economic growth and employment in the European Union, reaching the 2020 renewable energy target is expected to lead to around 2.8 million jobs in the renewable energy sector and generate a total value added of around 1.1% of GDP.