Britain's green energy shift presents 'huge opportunity' for jobs in Yorkshire says NatWest boss

The transition for British business cutting emissions to net zero presents a huge opportunity in creating jobs in Yorkshire, the chief executive of NatWest has claimed.

Alison Rose said that the green agenda was a ripe area for boosting employment and said her bank was committed to supporting and helping provide finance for firms operating in the sector.

NatWest is a principle partner for the United Nation’s Cop 26 conference, due to be hosted by the UK in Glasgow later this year.

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She said her bank was committed to the green agenda, having pledged to be carbon positive by 2025 and said that a regional approach was the best strategy when it came to helping firms transition from carbon emitting to carbon neutral.

Alsion Rose, NatWest CEO.

Speaking to The Yorkshire Post at a press conference she said: “I think there is a huge opportunity in terms of job creation [when it comes to the] transition and financing the transition.

"We are very much focused around supporting the regional economy and connecting into local key stakeholders for local business, local supply chains, looking at how do we recognise the local economy and support through our representation and then putting financing in place.

She sad that connecting businesses together to help decarbonise would only work if handled at a regional level, adding: “So our strategy is very regionally based so that we create that incentive and job creation as well as putting the money and financing with the key stakeholders.”

Her remarks come after NatWest announced a partnership with Microsoft to help UK businesses better understand their carbon footprint and create tailored action plans to reduce them.

Green energy is widely tipped to be an area of growth for the UK economy,

The move follows NatWest research showed 88 per cent of its customers said reducing their indirect emissions, such as those in their supply chains, was difficult to get external support for.

Ms Rose said: “If you are a very big business, like a major multinational corporation, you have got a big team of people who can measure your emissions and run your transition.

“But if you are an SME with all of things you are dealing with like Covid and the economy, you don’t have a big ESG (Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance) team. So we are really prioritising out partnerships which is what Microsoft is all about in developing tools that help SMEs and put the finance in place to deal with that.

She added: “If you look at the contribution that SMEs make to the economy and job creation and economic growth and regional growth they are a vital part of our economy.

“What Covid has shown is that there is more flexibility in where you work and when can work. The majority of our lending is for SMEs is outside of London and the South East. We are very committed to supporting regional growth.”

Data published by the Local Government Association last year claimed more than 150,000 green energy jobs are set to be created in Yorkshire over the next 30 years.

Across the North of England that figure rises to 420,000 direct jobs as the nation moves towards a green economy.

Analysis of these figures by The Yorkshire Post shows that 158,058 of these jobs would be created in Yorkshire, with the cities of Leeds, Hull, Sheffield, Wakefield and Bradford the principal beneficiaries.

In Leeds it claims nearly 34,000 jobs will be created, followed by 13,000 in Sheffield.