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Press Release: 16,000 Green Jobs Could be Created in Leeds City Region According to New Report

A new report says nearly 16,000 green jobs could be created in Leeds City Region - Alex Sobel MP and GALBA launch the report on Friday 3 December

A new report from the Group for Action on Leeds Bradford Airport and Green House Think Tank suggests that almost 16,000 jobs could be created across Leeds City Region through investment that is rooted in the needs of local communities and also tackles the climate emergency - for example in public transport and super-insulating homes. A Green New Deal for Leeds City Region: GALBA's Vision for a Sustainable Local Economy, will be launched on Friday 3 December, by GALBA and Alex Sobel, the MP for Leeds North West.

The report is supported by Leeds Trades Union Council and describes a vision for the region that rejects the false narrative of ‘jobs versus the environment’. In fact, a Green New Deal investment programme would deliver significant employment opportunities and restore services across every local authority in the region.

The report finds that currently, central government tax breaks for Leeds Bradford Airport flights amount to nearly £100m annually - and would rise by a further 75% if plans for the airport’s expansion go ahead. The findings also pour cold water on the jobs claims associated with those plans. Leeds Bradford Airport itself projects only 1,460 new jobs would be directly created by 2030. Even this is likely to be a significant overestimate based on the experience of previous UK airport expansions and the impact of automation in the future.

Robert Magowan, one of the report’s co-authors from Green House Think Tank, said: “We set out here the outline of a Green New Deal with incredible potential for job creation. Over 30,000 jobs would be created over the course of a ten-year transition to more sustainable housing, energy and transport. 16,000 of those would be maintained over the long-term. If you include much-needed investment in care work - as a critical part of a healthier, low-carbon future - that would add a further 11,000 jobs.”

Job creation potential under a Green New Deal for Leeds City Region

Chris Foren, chair of GALBA, said: “Our starting point for this report is to face up to four facts. First, the climate crisis is a real and present danger. Second, to prevent its worst effects, we must cut emissions in half by 2030. Third, it is not possible to cut aviation emissions in half by 2030. Fourth, people need secure and meaningful work. So we must - and we can - change our local economy to create a better future for everyone.”

Chris added: “The aviation industry has been particularly hard-hit by the pandemic and workers from that sector, along with many others, need practical support to reskill for new, low carbon jobs. GALBA doesn’t pretend to have all the answers. But we do know that Yorkshire needs an investment strategy that helps people make the transition to good, secure jobs that tackle the climate emergency rather than make it worse. Our generation has seen the emergence of a human-created climate crisis. We must also be the generation to fix this, by making best use of our most precious resource – our people.”

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Additional notes:

1) The report - contents embargoed until 00.01 on Friday 3 December: a copy of A Green New Deal for Leeds City Region: GALBA's Vision for a Sustainable Local Economy is attached. Please do not share the report until the morning of Friday 3 December when the report will be publicly available on GALBA’s website:

2) How to attend the launch event: the launch will be held online, 2-3pm on Friday 3 December. Please book your place by using this Eventbrite link. You will receive a Zoom link 48 hours before the event.

3) Format of the launch event: Alex Sobel, MP for Leeds North West, will introduce the event. Presentations about the report will be given by representatives of GALBA and Green House Think Tank, who co-produced the report. There will be an opportunity for questions and discussion after the presentations.

4) Endorsements: the report has support from Leeds TUC, the Campaign Against Climate Change Trade Union group and Safe Landing, an aviation workers group.

5) Green House: Green House is a think tank, founded in 2011. It aims to lead the development of green thinking in the UK. This report is published by the Green European Foundation with the support of Green House Think Tank and with the financial support of the European Parliament to the Green European Foundation.

6) Green European Foundation: GEF is a European-level political foundation whose mission is to contribute to a lively European sphere of debate and to foster greater involvement by citizens in European politics. GEF strives to mainstream discussions on European policies and politics both within and beyond the green political family. The foundation acts as a laboratory for new ideas, offers cross-border political education and a platform for cooperation and exchange at the European level.

7) Climate science and LBA expansion: the Leeds Climate Commission and experts in climate science from the University of Leeds have calculated that LBA’s proposals mean greenhouse gas emissions from the airport would exceed the amount allowed for the whole of Leeds, as set out in the Leeds Carbon Reduction Roadmap, from 2026 onwards. See the report here.

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