Jobs to tackle climate crisis could thrive in Yorkshire, but more Government support needed, says Rachel Reeves

The innovative jobs and industries that will be needed to tackle the climate crisis could exist across Yorkshire, but more support is needed from Government to cash in on the county’s industrial heritage and “put together a proper plan  to get those jobs and industries here” the Shadow Chancellor has said.

Meanwhile, a business expert has suggested there is the enthusiasm and “natural capital” in the region to lead the way when it comes to reducing carbon emissions, with small enterprises “adapting to the to the green agenda and changing their business models, working practices, and really contributing to the green agenda nationally.”

Rachel Reeves Leeds West MP and opposite number to Rishi Sunak told The Yorkshire Post: “So many of the jobs and industries of the future that are going to be needed to address climate change exist in Yorkshire.

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“That's really exciting because there are going to be jobs and industries of the future, some of which none of us have ever heard of or thought of.”

Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves speaks to the media as she arrives at BBC Broadcasting House, July 2021 (PA/Dominic Lipinski)

However she called on the Government to “step up the reality of what they’re doing” and said more is needed in industries such as carbon capture or the manufacture of electric vehicles to be “creating those jobs of the future here in Yorkshire”.

“At the moment there’s lots of warm words - lots of hot air if you will - there’s less practical action”, Ms Reeves said.

“I want the Government to bring forward a proper plan for actually ensuring that the jobs and industries and opportunities come to businesses and come to workers here in Britain.”

Ms Reeves said there are “practical things” ministers could be doing to support jobs in the green sectors.

“We all see the wind turbines going up on the coast,” she said.

“I think it is a real missed opportunity.”

“The vast majority of those are not being manufactured in this country. We know the way we're going to heat our homes is going to change. There's great stuff going on and northern gas networks about using hydrogen to do that. So there's lots of things that are happening right now that could be huge job creators, and huge sources of wealth and opportunity [...] maybe with a little bit more support from the government.”

She added: “I want to do more to buy, make and sell in this country and seize this moment and seize those opportunities - for young people especially - but for everybody doing jobs in Yorkshire and across the country.”

The optimism among Yorkshire businesses when it comes to the climate crisis was also recognised by Carolyn Frank at the Federation of Small Businesses, who said “we're absolutely leading the way with this agenda as a region as an area because we have all the natural capital that's needed.”

Ms Frank, the Development Manager for FSB in North Yorkshire said: “I think businesses here are excited about the green agenda and we will lead in it because of that people are getting behind it there. They're grabbing those emerging opportunities.”

A Government spokesperson said: “Yorkshire is one of the many regions benefitting from our plan to drive a green industrial revolution.

“In recent months, we’ve committed £75 million to build a new offshore wind port on the River Humber and SeAH Wind are investing £117 million in a new factory thanks to government support – both investments ensuring we can build the materials we need for wind farms right here in the UK, rather than elsewhere.

“Alongside this, we have also established a new UK Infrastructure Bank in Leeds to leverage vital private sector investment in new green industries, ensuring Yorkshire is at the centre of our plans to tackle climate change and drive economic growth.”