New research shows that at least 130,000 green jobs could be created in Scotland in the next two years, enough to replace every job lost from covid and more, if the government invests in key areas including care work and renewable energy.

The analysis by Green New Deal UK, shows that thousands of new jobs would be created in every region of Scotland, helping people who’ve lost their jobs due to the pandemic, rebuilding our communities and creating a greener Scotland.

Ahead of the Scottish Parliament election, environment groups, Trade Unions, care workers and health workers are coming together to demand all parties commit to investing in these key sectors and delivering the good green jobs needed to simultaneously rebuild from the pandemic, restore nature and tackle the climate crisis.

The data, compiled by Green New Deal UK, shows:

  • 130,000 total jobs could be created across Scotland in the next two years.
  • 60,000 jobs could be created in care work, looking after people in our communities.
  • 62,000 jobs could be created in building the green infrastructure needed to reduce climate emissions, including in renewable energy, improving the energy efficiency of our homes and sustainable transport.

Alongside areas such as renewable energy, public transport and digital infrastructure, the research includes jobs in the care sector as an example of low carbon jobs. The need for more carers is set to increase significantly as our population gets older, while care work as a sector has a very low impact on the planet compared to others. By improving and increasing jobs in care campaigners believe we are setting people up with sustainable and secure work for the long term.

Hannah Martin, Co Director at Green New Deal UK said: 
‘We need to broaden our understanding of what makes a job green. A truly green economy is so much more than wind turbines, solar panels and electric vehicles – it is an army of retrofitters, carers, bike couriers and teachers, up and down the country, all working towards transforming our economy. Without a doubt, it is workers that have shouldered the greatest suffering during the pandemic. So now it is crucial that we put those workers at the heart of our recovery with a Green New Deal.’

Susanne Napier, care worker and Unite Care Sector Shop Steward: 
“The data shows that 60,000 care jobs could be created across Scotland but the people who work in the care sector are undervalued and overworked, with many leaving the sector rather than looking to join.

“The pandemic has shown that care sector workers provide a vital service in looking after some of Scotland’s most vulnerable people and planning for the future has to happen now. There are already over 200,000 workers in the sector and we believe that any future National Care Service must put green jobs at it’s heart.”

Ryan Morrison, Just Transition Campaigner at Friends of the Earth Scotland:
“The election comes at a critical time, with MSPs elected in May being tasked with rebuilding from the impacts of coronavirus, as well as delivering the transformative action needed to create green jobs that will drive down climate emissions.

“The next Scottish Parliament must put people and climate action at the heart of decisions they make about the economy. Thousands of green jobs can be created by making bus travel free for everyone, scaling up renewable energy whilst ensuring that people in Scotland are reaping the benefits, and planning for a fair transition away from fossil fuels.

Dr Claire Gaughan, GP based in Glasgow:
“This research should be a wake up call for all candidates in the Scottish elections. We have seen over the last ten years how the health of our communities has been undermined not just by unemployment, but by low-paid, precarious work too. Those of us working in the NHS see the impacts of this neglect every day.

We’ve got to create new jobs, but if we end up increasing emissions and wrecking the planet, then we will never truly recover from the current health crisis. The next Scottish Government now has the chance to break the deadlock and invest in good quality, well-paying green jobs that safeguard both our health and the environment. This is an opportunity it can’t afford to miss.”

Additional research from nature conservation charities has shown the potential for up to 7,000 further green jobs in Scotland, focused on recovering Scotland’s nature. Jobs in activities like planting native woodlands, restoring peatlands, deer control and a farming advisory service, would tackle the nature and climate emergency and provide many other benefits to people such as improving our health and wellbeing.

Isobel Mercer, Senior Policy Officer at RSPB Scotland, said:
“There is huge potential for the nature sector to grow and contribute thousands of jobs as part of Scotland’s green recovery. Lockdown has shown many people the importance of nature for our health and wellbeing, but nature is in trouble and access to nature is unequal.

We need urgent investment in nature’s recovery and thriving nature to be at the heart of Scotland’s economy. The good news is that investing in just five key areas of nature’s recovery would create up to 7,000 jobs – unlocking this potential and scaling up action on the nature crisis must be an immediate priority of the next Scottish Parliament.”


This is the Scotland launch of Green New Deal research, UK wide data will be published on Monday 19th April 22.30. Contact GND UK for embargoed UK jobs figures

Green New Deal UK’s green jobs data builds on a number of analyses across several sectors of the UK economy: green infrastructure, R&D, digital infrastructure and care.  Their complete methodology can be found https://www.greennewdealuk.org/local-data-methodology/   

Free to use images of green jobs and the people quoted can be found https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1g91_boHGPcq-abKG7JY9Bud7e7Rp2Ze8?usp=sharing 

Friends of the Earth Scotland has called on Scottish parties to deliver green jobs as we recover from coronavirus. The campaigners are calling for parties and candidates to support policies that will:
• Launch a publicly-owned renewable energy company, generating power
• Put Scotland on course to be fossil fuel free
• Extend free bus travel to all, on publicly-owned buses
• Put people and climate action at the heart of decisions about the economy

Unite Scotland launched a manifesto for Social Care Workers ahead of Scottish Parliament elections

Research commissioned by RSPB Scotland, Scottish Wildlife Trust and WWF Scotland shows that investing in nature’s recovery can create 7000 additional jobs in Scotland, see our briefing: https://community.rspb.org.uk/cfs-file/__key/telligent-evolution-components-attachments/01-103180-00-00-00-79-23-48/Nature-Recovery-Plan-_2D00_-Nature-Jobs-Briefing.pdf 

Friends of the Earth Scotland is:
* Scotland’s leading environmental campaigning organisation
* An independent Scottish charity with a network of thousands of supporters and active local groups across Scotland
* Part of the largest grassroots environmental network in the world, uniting over 2 million supporters, 73 national member groups, and 5,000 local activist groups.