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Campaigners call for more green jobs in Sheffield at rally this Saturday

Organisers at Green New Deal UK say new green jobs could replace all of those lost in Sheffield as a result of the pandemic.

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Ruth Powell of Green New Deal UK has called on the government to create thousands of new green jobs.

Ruth Powell.

A rally will take place this Saturday outside Sheffield Town Hall calling for the creation of thousands of new green jobs in the city.

It comes as new data released by campaign group Green New Deal UK shows that the government could create 23,000 green jobs over ten years in Sheffield.

This would be enough to replace all the jobs lost in the city as a result of the pandemic, which Green New Deal UK estimate to be around 6,000.

"South Yorkshire has been hit hard by the unemployment crisis and is increasingly seeing the effects of the climate crisis," Ruth Powell, an organiser at Green New Deal UK, told Now Then.

"With a Green New Deal, there could be jobs for everybody that wants one, as it will require millions of jobs to tackle the climate crisis and build a fair economy."

The socially-distanced rally, which will feature guest speakers who either have or would like a job in the green industries, will start at 11am. It's part of a series of similar actions taking place in cities across the UK calling for investment in green jobs.

Campaigners say these could include jobs in nature restoration, like tree planting or nature-friendly farming, as well as jobs in renewable energy, home insulation and building electric vehicles.

40% of Labour candidates in the upcoming local elections recently backed a manifesto calling for a Green New Deal in Sheffield, and the Greens and Lib Dems have put forward similar policies.

In August 2019, Sheffield councillors passed a motion committing the city to a target of net-zero emissions by 2030. The recently-released Pathways To Zero report sets out a roadmap that includes 80 actions on the way to meeting that goal.

These include improving home insulation across the city to reduce heat loss, since 66% of energy used in domestic homes is currently allocated to heating.

Campaigners for a Green New Deal believe this is one of the areas that could benefit most from large-scale public investment and the creation of tens of thousands of jobs across the country.

Created by the Council in partnership with engineering firm Arup, the Pathways To Zero report calls for an increase in the number of buses and trams in Sheffield as well as the frequency of services.

This is another area that campaigners believe could kickstart employment in South Yorkshire, both in the construction and operation of electric vehicles, trains and trams.

"Everyone has a part to play, from good quality public services such as care and education to the technical jobs required to transition over to sustainable energy sources," said Powell.

"Of course, creating these jobs would not come cheap, but it would be an investment in the future of our people and planet."

"I have personally been affected by the unemployment so I am really passionate about this campaign to give people the chance to have a well-paid, secure job in an industry that benefits everyone."

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