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Communities for green and decent jobs

business and industry , climate change , jobs , sustainability



There is an urgent need to create good-quality new jobs to build a low-carbon economy in the UK and at the same time provide decent, local jobs in emerging green sectors.

IPPR’s project is investigating whether ‘bottom-up’ approaches to green job creation, such as those undertaken by the US-based Apollo Alliance which has proved influential with the Obama Administration, could be replicated successfully in the UK. We will be working with grassroots and community-based organisations to stimulate new collaborations between trade unions, social justice activists and environmental campaigners to develop the green jobs agenda in the UK.

Project detail

This project has involved an initial scoping paper and a subsequent Green Jobs Summit that was held by IPPR in June 2010 and attended by representatives from local-level organisations across the UK. The next and current stage of the programme of work builds on the enthusiasm generated through this initial work and aims to develop concrete proposals for what a ‘grassroots’ approach to green job creation would look like.

The aim of the current stage of work is to increase knowledge among local level organisations (including community education organisations, welfare campaign groups, trade unions, private enterprises, local authorities, faith-based organisations, regional bodies and environmental campaigners) about ways in which they can stimulate good quality green jobs in their local areas and to help seed new collaborations between the different organisations to work on this agenda.

We have two key objectives. The first is to interrogate and challenge the policy context surrounding green jobs in the UK, examining where green job creation can have most impact and how this can best be pursued at a national and local level. Secondly using international learning built up through the project, to examine what a broad-based alliance might look like in the UK, how it might most effectively operate and to support its  formation through a range of influencing strategies.

As part of this project we are organising a learning exchange to the US West Coast for UK organisations involved in the Green Jobs agenda. The exchange will investigate the impact of these alliances on the ground and seek to understand the potential for similar activity in the UK. The learning exchange will be based in San Francisco, California, home to two leading alliances, and will include visits to initiatives in the San Francisco bay area as well as neighbouring Oakland, California. Information about the learning trip can be found here.

Following this we will hold a series of roundtable discussions to explore how lessons from the US trip could be applied to the UK context. Finally, a summary paper will be published outlining where next for the green jobs agenda with a twin focus on national and local activity.

This project is generously supported by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.