Carbon-free push could create 37,000 North West jobs

Think tank IPPR North says retrofitting homes to comply with the Paris Agreement on climate change could provide a huge boost to the North West economy. Tony McDonough reports

Houses, housing, homes, landlords
IPPR North says a programme of retrofitting homes across the North West will create 37,000 jobs

 

A mass homes decarbonisation programme could create around 37,000 jobs in Merseyside and across the North West by 2035, a new study claims.

And the research by think tank IPPR North says a programme of retrofitting homes to comply with the Paris Agreement on climate change, could see 77,000 jobs created across the north of England. It adds it would create a further 111,000 supply chain jobs across the UK.

Retrofitting homes to improve energy efficiency would include fitting insulation, removing gas boilers which are a key contributor to household emissions and replacing them with heat pumps and setting up heat networks.

IPPR North estimates it could also bring a £3.85bn GVA boost each year for the north, and £5.61bn GVA boost every year in supply chains across the UK and would fit in with the Government’s stated ‘levelling-up’ agenda.

Retrofitting homes will be a particular challenge for the north. Of the 6.8m homes in the region, almost one in four were built before 1919, and 44% were built before 1944. And more than 1.35m homes in the north fail to meet decent home standards.

Fuel poverty is another key problem that must be ended. There are approximately 731,500 fuel poor homes in the North—that’s over one in 10 households which is higher than the England average.

In contrast, Government action to protect people from poor quality housing and fuel poverty by retrofitting homes will reduce bills, making it easier for many more people to stay warm.

To achieve retrofitting and the multiple benefits it will bring, and to ensure that housing plays its part in meeting the UK’s emissions reduction commitments, IPPR North is calling for the rapid retrofit of all social housing within a decade – 1.27m homes in the north.

Marcus Johns, research fellow at IPPR North said: “64 councils and combined authorities in the north have declared a climate emergency, but the nation isn’t doing enough to meet our emissions commitments. In fact, if everyone in the world lived like the average UK citizen, we would need 2.5 planets’ worth of resources.

Decarbonisation isn’t an option- it’s vital for our region, our country and our planet. Not only will it make a difference to the world we live in, but it could also help us to create high quality jobs in a healthier, greener, economically just north.

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