A new report shows that almost 16,000 jobs could be created across Leeds City Region through investment in a planned and fair transition to a sustainable economy. The report was launched on Friday 3 December by Alex Sobel, MP for North West Leeds, Leeds Trades Union Council (TUC), and the Group for Action on Leeds Bradford Airport (GALBA). Trade Unionists, councillors from across West Yorkshire and climate campaigners attended the launch event.
GALBA’s vision for a sustainable local economy
Welcoming the report, Alex Sobel MP said:
“There is great potential for diversified employment in our region. There are real opportunities for low carbon manufacturing and energy production – eg making offshore wind turbines and green hydrogen – and we urgently need a mass home insulation programme. There’s space around the airport for some of these new low carbon, clean tech industries.”
A Green New Deal for Leeds City Region: GALBA’s Vision for a Sustainable Local Economy calls for public investment in jobs that meet the needs of local communities and also tackle the climate emergency – for example in public transport and super-insulating homes. The report also finds that currently, central government tax breaks for Leeds Bradford Airport flights amount to nearly £100m annually, and would rise by a further 75 percent if plans for the airport’s expansion go ahead.
Aviation is one of the hardest sectors of the economy to decarbonise. So giving tax breaks to aviation makes no sense in a climate crisis. Public money needs to be used to stop the crisis, not make it worse. This report sets out a green new deal with incredible potential for job creation. Over 30,000 jobs would be created over the course of a ten-year transition to more sustainable housing, energy and transport. Some 16,000 of those would be maintained over the long-term.
Protecting the climate and creating new jobs
The report was co-written by Green House Think Tank and GALBA, with financial support from the Green European Foundation. It has the support of Leeds TUC, the Campaign Against Climate Change Trade Union group and Safe Landing, an aviation workers group.
We have to change our economy to create a better future for everyone. GALBA rejects any suggestion that we must choose between creating good jobs and protecting our climate. We can – and must – do both. We don’t pretend to have all the answers but we do know that Yorkshire needs an investment strategy that helps people make the transition to good, secure jobs that also protect our environment.
Our generation has seen the emergence of a human-created climate crisis. We must also be the generation to fix this, by making best use of our most precious resource – our people.