NEW research undertaken by the Green New Deal Group suggests that investment into green infrastructure, energy, research and development, digital infrastructure and social care could replace thousands of jobs lost due to the pandemic in Wales.

The UK lobbying and research group's studies show that 23,271 new jobs could be created in Wales over the next two years.

Across the UK, government and private investment in green infrastructure could create over 1.2 million jobs within two years, and over 2.7 million jobs in ten years.

In March, the Office of National Statistics reported that despite the worsening climate crisis and pandemic-induced unemployment, the UK's green workforce shrank between 2014 and 2019, falling from 235,900 in 2014, to 202,100 in 2019.

Further analysis revealed  that permanent covid job losses nationally are expected to reach nearly a million (992,757) in two years and nearly two million (1,985,513) job losses over ten years.

According to the Green New Deal Group the new data illustrates the vast opportunity to use green investment to drive employment and build up low-carbon industries. 

Hannah Martin, co-executive director of Green New Deal UK, said:

“Every day people are losing their jobs and struggling to find work due to Covid-19. At a time when we need to rapidly decarbonise our economy and build resilient future industries which will allow people and planet to prosper, having so many people out of work makes no sense.

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"We have so much work to do to build the future we need, but we must see proper government investment to kick-start that green jobs revolution. Our data shows the huge potential for green jobs in the UK, providing millions of good jobs in every part of the country.”

The new data challenges pre-existing notions of what constitutes a 'green job', including work in sectors such as care which have a relatively low environmental impact, and which the UK urgently needs to scale up to deal with the fallout from the pandemic and Britain’s ageing population.

 “We need to broaden our understanding of what makes a job green," added Martin. 

"A truly green economy is so much more than wind turbines, solar panels and electric vehicles - it is an army of retrofitters, carers, bike couriers and teachers, up and down the country, all working towards transforming our economy.

"Without a doubt, it is workers that have shouldered the greatest suffering during the pandemic. So now it is crucial that we put those workers at the heart of our recovery with a green new deal.”