The number of green jobs in central London is expected to double by the end of the decade – and double again by 2050 – according to research shared exclusively with City A.M. today.
The green sector, which generated around £29bn in 2021, will host 335,000 jobs in the capital by 2030, research by Central London Forward and WPI Economics has found.
The findings come amid fears that a global push to limit greenhouse gas emissions will result in job losses for those in carbon-intensive sectors, such as oil and gas.
There are around 137,000 jobs in carbon-intensive sectors in central London, which represents just four per cent of all employment, compared with 11 per cent nationally.
The Ukraine crisis has thrown the Europe’s oil dependency even higher on the agenda, with countries heavily reliant on Russia for oil and gas supplies.
Prime minister Boris Johnson confirmed last week that the UK would further push to diversity its energy grid, saying: “When we look at the dependency that the West in particular has built up on Putin’s hydrocarbons, on Putin’s oil and gas, we can see what a mistake that was because he’s been able to blackmail the West to hold Western economies to ransom.”
Chairman of London-listed Seraphim Space, Will Whitehorn, also told City A.M. on Monday that energy has “been used as a weapon by Russia” and that the UK must not allow itself to be “blackmailed” by energy producers any longer.
Central London was home to some 147,000 green jobs in 2020, with work spanning across 11 sectors. Though construction and transport are forecast to host the most green jobs in the coming years.
Building jobs, including insulating and retrofitting existing properties, are set to double from 31,000 to 62,000 by 2030. Meanwhile, jobs in low carbon transport are anticipated to rise five-fold to 44,000 by the end of the decade.
Central London Forward chair Elizabeth Campbell said: “The transition to net zero is an unprecedented economic opportunity for the capital. London is already a world-leader in green finance, and we will see hundreds of thousands of green jobs created across our economy.”
With a total of 732,000 jobs by the mid-century, London’s green economy is expected to skyrocket – hand in hand with the rising popularity of green finance, a £14bn sector which already accounts for more than 50,000 jobs in central London.
Director of WPI Economics, Matthew Oakley added: “London has been hit hard by the pandemic. This latest piece of research demonstrates the enormous potential of green jobs to drive a strong and inclusive recovery in central London.
“With the right skills provision and support for those out of work or in at-risk jobs, central London authorities can be at the forefront of delivering the green economy in their boroughs”