Moment in history for green industrial revolution to combat inequalities in the North once and for all, says Northern leader

The Government faces a “moment in history” to empower and invest in a green future to combat the glaring generations of structural unemployment inequalities that are holding back Northern communities, a Yorkshire business leader has said.

Roger Marsh OBE chair of the NP11 - a group of all 11 northern local enterprise partnerships - told The Yorkshire Post: “The Green Industrial Revolution provides significant opportunity for the creation of good quality jobs across the North, particularly where employment remains a challenge as a result of the pandemic and long-standing issues.”

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He added the North is already generating “significant green growth” for the UK and he highlighted recent NP11 research indicates that investment in decarbonisation and clean growth could create up to 100,000 green jobs which would provide a "major and much-needed boost" to the North and the UK.

Yorkshire leaders have said the recovery from covid-19 should be used to place long-term investment into environmental projects alongside other infrastructure as part of the Government’s levelling up agenda. Photo credit: Adobestock.com

On Tuesday The Yorkshire Post reported on calls on the Government by northern civic and business leaders and environment and wildlife campaigners to be “more ambitious” in safeguarding the environment - including protecting peatland across Yorkshire - to deliver on climate action, and to create more opportunities for areas worst hit by unemployment.

Yorkshire leaders said the recovery from covid-19 should be used to place long-term investment into environmental projects alongside other infrastructure as part of the Government’s levelling up agenda.

Across the region this includes investing in protecting peatland across the ‘Great North Bog’ area, including in Thirsk, Skipton and Richmond.

Speaking to the Yorkshire Post yesterday, Dan Jarvis, the Mayor of Sheffield City Region, warned that the Government needs to “urgently confront” the environment emergency by creating more green opportunities across the region or risk international failure on climate action.

The Government needs to prioritise long-term investment in Yorkshire's environmental assets including the growth of the Northern Forest, leaders across the region have said.

Mr Marsh, who has been the chair for the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) since 2013, said: “The job-creating potential is huge: not just in urban centres, in rural and coastal regions where opportunities like offshore wind, the circular economy, and use of natural capital are gathering pace."

Mr Marsh added the Government needed to prioritise long-term investment in Yorkshire environmental assets including the growth of the Northern Forest and the ‘Great North Bog’ area.

He said: “The scope for creating skilled and sustainable jobs in these industries to support the UK’s journey to a clean growth economy is one that I fully endorse.”

Richard Benwell, the chief executive of the Wildlife and Countryside Link, added: "This shows we can build back from the pandemic in a green way, rebuilding nature alongside a cleaner, green economy.

Pictured Roger Marsh OBE, chair of the NP11 - a group of all 11 northern local enterprise partnerships. Photo credit: Submitted picture

"With a few simple changes to existing programmes, the chancellor really can seize the opportunity of creating new long term jobs with better green space for local communities."

The Government said it is determined to "seize the economic opportunities" and build back greener from the pandemic by supporting up to 2 million green jobs across the country by 2030.

A Government spokeswoman said: "As a world leader in the fight against climate change, our ambition to protect the planet goes hand in hand with supporting economic growth and prosperity across every region of the UK.

"There are already over 410,000 jobs in low carbon businesses and their supply chains across the UK.

Pictured, Richard Benwell, the chief executive of the Wildlife and Countryside Link. He said: "This shows we can build back from the pandemic in a green way, rebuilding nature alongside a cleaner, green economy."

"To build on this progress, we are bringing together businesses, skills providers and trade unions through our Green Jobs Taskforce to deliver the skilled workforce we need to put the UK at the forefront of the global green industrial revolution."

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