The UK is missing out on thousands of jobs and billions of pounds in revenue that other European nations are generating through support of green businesses, the TUC said today.
A Green and Fair Future, a pamphlet commissioned by the TUC and launched at a conference addressed by Environment secretary Hilary Benn, urges the government to work more closely with employers and unions to implement policies that will turn the UK into a world leader in the new green economy.
“Our European competitors are showing that there is a lot of money and jobs in the green economy but the UK government is barely off the starting blocks compared to countries like Spain and Denmark,” said Brendan Barber, TUC general secretary. “Now is the time to start implementing the policies which could allow a UK green sector to give a much-needed boost to our slowing economy.”
Germany, for example, has created a renewable energy sector employing almost half a million people with a turnover of €24bn Euros. In contrast, the UK employs just 7,000 in renewable energy, generating just €360m Euros.
The pamphlet argues that planning and support is vital to ensure that the UK’s shift to a low carbon economy is fair. Without a flourishing green economy, new green training programmes for workers and full government consultation, the most energy intensive industries in the UK face an uncertain future.
The TUC has also published a guide for employees looking to make their workplaces greener.
Go Green at Work gives directions on how to assess the environmental performance of a workplace and offers tips on investments in energy saving and renewable technology in the workplace.