9 December 2020
RMT Press Office:
RMT warns of on going offshore jobs massacre as Committee on Climate Change ponders the future
OFFSHORE UNION RMT has warned of an ongoing jobs massacre on the UK Continental Shelf with 14,000 offshore oil and gas and seafarer jobs lost and worse to come if there isn't urgent and immediate action, while the Committee on Climate Change ponder the distant future in their report issued today.
RMT estimate that 12,000 North Sea oil and gas jobs have been lost in nine months but all the Committee on Climate Change can offer on Just Transition is ‘ask the Treasury about re-training’ and the ramblings of this Government’s favourite right wing think tank. This is a profound insult to offshore oil and gas workers who have lost their jobs and to those still slogging their guts out in the North Sea to keep the country running whilst politicians plan an economy without them.
The committee’s urge to slash offshore wind energy prices will also drive developers to the cheapest contractors, locking tens of thousands of UK workers out of the green industrial revolution but protecting private dividends and profits.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said;
“Over 14,000 seafarer and North Sea oil and gas jobs have been lost in nine months but all the Committee on Climate Change can offer on Just Transition is ‘ask the Treasury about re-training’ and the ramblings of this Government’s favourite right wing think tank. This is a profound insult to those key workers who have lost their jobs during the pandemic and to those still slogging their guts out in the North Sea, on ships and in our ports to keep the country running whilst politicians design an economy without them.
“The transport sector is the UK’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases, and we must ensure that Covid-19 does not push more people into their cars. The Climate Change Committee has already called for Government investment in public transport – and this is absolutely vital if we are to meet our carbon reduction targets. Today’s report rightly acknowledges that we need modal shifts to public transport and that public transport services need to be reliable and properly funded.
“The Government’s recent decision to slash a massive £1bn off the rail infrastructure budget whilst safeguarding the £27bn new road building budget is completely at odds with the path to net zero, and must be reversed.
“The committee’s urge to slash offshore wind energy prices will also drive developers to the cheapest contractors, locking tens of thousands of UK workers out of a ‘green industrial revolution’ but protecting private dividends and profits. The carbon budget is clearly an opportunity to standardise measures that would build sustainable jobs, skills and domestic supply chains for the long term, particularly in the offshore wind industry, and it is disappointing that this has not been taken.
“To stop the Covid-19 crisis accelerating the climate crisis, we need a new deal for public transport with expanded operating subsidy, capital investment and capacity to make services more frequent, affordable, attractive, safer to use and serving the mobility needs of both urban and rural communities. The Government should divert funds from road budgets and make our public transport and freight networks publicly owned and integrated, ensuring that all revenue is reinvested in the network.”
Notes to Editors
1. RMT estimate that 2,000 seafarers and 12,000 North Sea oil and gas workers have lost their jobs since Covid-19 March 2020. Both sets of workers have transferrable skills required in offshore renewables and other sectors of the green economy.
2. The Committee on Climate Change report calls for a halving of the mega watt per hour price of offshore wind energy to £23 by 2050.
3. The Committee also makes reference (page 147) to a recent report from Policy Exchange, the right wing think tank co-founded by Michael Gove. The Committee quote Policy Exchange’s estimate of 40,000 jobs being created in the UK by the North Sea energy transition by 2050. This does not include the full potential of the onshore and offshore supply chain.