Published: 09:13, 13 September 2021
| Updated: 09:15, 13 September 2021
More than 25,600 jobs could be at risk in the South East if the UK fails to keep pace with the race to net zero.
The Trade Unions Congress (TUC) has warned of the employment threat should the UK not transition to becoming carbon neutral as fast as other nations.
It has identified jobs that, unless government acts now, could be moved offshore to countries that offer superior green infrastructure and greater support for decarbonising industry.
It warns the loss of those jobs would then put "thousands more jobs at risk in supply chains for the affected industries".
Key sectors at risk include iron and steel, chemicals, paper and printing, textiles, rubber and plastics, and glass and ceramics.
Research published by the TUC in June found that the UK is second last among G7 economies for its investment in green infrastructure and jobs.
TUC regional secretary, Sam Gurney, said: “The world is moving very clearly in one direction – away from carbon and toward net zero. The UK must keep up with the pace of change.
“There’s still time to protect vital South East jobs in manufacturing and its supply chains. But the clock is ticking.
“Unless the Westminster government urgently scales up investment in green tech and industry, we risk losing thousands of decent jobs to competitor nations.
“If we move quickly, we can still safeguard jobs in the South East’s industry. The government should boost investment to at least the G7 average and commit to the Green Jobs Taskforce plans in full. Then today’s workers will know that their jobs are safe, and the future can be bright with decent jobs for their children too.”