New research shows thousands of Scotland’s manufacturing jobs at risk without greater climate ambition.

November 2nd 2021

New research shows thousands of Scotland’s manufacturing jobs at risk without greater climate ambition.

November 2nd 2021

New research shows thousands of Scotland’s manufacturing jobs at risk without greater climate ambition.

• Up to 16,700 direct jobs could be offshored if Scotland falls behind other countries in taking action to reduce emissions from manufacturing and heavy industry.
• When supply chains are accounted for, a total of 24,300 jobs are at risk.
• The STUC is calling on the Scottish Government to work with unions to future-proof jobs at risk of offshoring, ensure policy ambition matches climate targets, ensure local content is used in renewable energy projects, develop a publicly-owned energy company and develop a National Infrastructure Company. It is also calling on the UK Government to increase public investment.

While the COP26 UN climate talks begin in Glasgow, businesses in high-carbon sectors, such as steel, cement, or glass manufacturers, face costly upgrades and complex technological and process changes to eliminate emissions. Scotland has clear climate commitments, enshrined through legislation, so continuing business as usual in these sectors is not an option. Instead, these sectors need support to change their production to a model compatible with a net zero carbon future.

Scotland has seen its manufacturing workforce fall from 346,000 to 179,000 over the last 25 years. In recent years manufacturing jobs in offshore wind have been offshored to places like Denmark, Spain and the Far East where state support is greater. Earlier this month, we saw Scotland miss out on carbon capture and storage funding after the UK Government failed to financially support the Acorn project in the North East of Scotland.

The STUC are calling for greater public investment from the UK Government and for bolder policies from the Scottish Government. This includes measures such as requiring 80% local content in renewable energy projects and establishing publicly-owned energy and national infrastructure companies.

STUC General Secretary Roz Foyer said:

“If we put ourselves at forefront of green innovation, we can protect Scotland’s manufacturing workforce. But it needs increased public investment from the UK Government and bolder policies from the Scottish Government.

“Scotland’s trade union movement is ambitious for our climate, but we are ambitious about safeguarding jobs too. The Scottish Government needs to show much more willingness to use its planning and regulatory powers and to intervene in the market through a publicly owned energy company and a national infrastructure company.”

ENDS

Notes The report, titled ‘Our Climate, Our Jobs: Safeguarding Scotland’s manufacturing jobs through climate action’ is available here.

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