The UK Government is being accused of “not delivering” on pledges to create a new generation of green jobs.
The Trades Union Congress (TUC) called for Westminster to implement “ambitious plans” after the Office for National Statistics (ONS) estimated a drop in low carbon jobs in the middle to end of the last decade.
Analysis from the ONS released on Monday predicted that there were 202,100 green jobs in the UK in 2019, compared to 235,900 in 2014.
The worst hit sector was energy efficient product manufacturing, where the number of positions fell by 37,900, around a third.
The number of carbon capture and storage jobs decreased by two thirds, as did those involved in other renewable electricity.
Moreover, the ONS said that despite having more than twice the offshore windfarm capacity in 2019 as in 2014, the number of direct jobs supported by the offshore wind sector in the UK only grew by 14% to 7,200.
The figures pre-date the pandemic and do not take into account those axed over the last year.
More than 290,000 of those are expected to be involved in the retrofitting of buildings.
A further 24,000 jobs could be supported by the installation of electric vehicle charging infrastructure and 35,000 through the upgrade of ports and factories for renewable energy.
The TUC said Boris Johnson is leaving the UK to “fall behind” other nations, pointing to recent cuts to funding for green homes.
Spearheaded by the 10 point plan, the promises aim to reassure domestic industry it will benefit from decarbonisation, amid concerns of work being farmed out overseas.
Frances O’Grady, TUC General Secretary, said: “Climate action can bring major benefits to us all. New jobs in green industries can help us recover from the pandemic. And it will mean clean air, food security, and the restoration of Britain’s forests and wildlife.
“But progress is far too slow. Lots of towns and communities were promised the chance to level up with new jobs in green industries. But Boris Johnson’s government is not delivering.
“There should be a good news story to tell. Our research has shown how over a million green jobs can be created in the next two years if the government fast tracks green investment.
“We all know now this is the future we need. The government must come forward with ambitious plans to show strong leadership when the UK chairs the COP26 global conference on climate change this year.”
A spokesperson for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said: “The UK is committed to taking advantage of the huge economic opportunities that the transition to a green economy offers, including large scale job-creation.
“The Prime Minister’s 10 Point Plan will mobilise £12 billion of government investment to create and support up to 250,000 highly-skilled green jobs in the UK, and attract over three times as much private sector investment by 2030.”