UK space industry set to open 15,000 new green job opportunities by 2030
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The UK government has been encouraged to invest in the space sector with a focus on fighting climate change. This comes after new research has revealed potentially thousands of high-level, “green jobs” predicted to come from this sector. These projections have been made by an economist formerly from the Bank of England and were featured in the Stratospheric Green Growth Report published on the 3rd of March.
The report builds upon acknowledgement by the UK government of the positive environmental potential of space, such as the announcement of a £5 million satellite data centre which will use state of the art satellite technology to combat climate change. The creation of more green job opportunities will also aid regional and economic growth. Space-based solar power and satellite technology in agriculture opens a new era of energy generation and new employment opportunities.
The report describes how the space industry is the key player in creating an estimated 15,000 jobs in the UK by 2030. These positions would be high-level, high-value positions in the most productive and crucial industrial sectors of the UK economy. To place these numbers in perspective, creating 15,000 new jobs is equivalent to four of Google’s headquarters being added to the economy: all increasing growth and innovation in the UK. These opportunities will only exist if the UK government invests in the space sector. The report also suggested that the space industry could be the key to addressing climate change and achieving 2050 net-zero targets.
Job opportunities would include:
- Solar power transmission technicians
- Natural environment investment analysts
- Space-data traffic control operatives
- Space-data enabled crop managers
- Extreme weather data scientists
- Space capability farm machinery retrofitters
- Natural disaster hotspot monitoring consultants
- Space-data emissions reduction professionals
- Agricultural satellite advisors
- Earth observation shipping navigators
Investment by the UK government into job creation in this sector would demonstrate the UK’s commitment to combatting climate change in advance of hosting the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26). For this dream to be realised, UKspace is imploring policymakers to support necessary actions. At the forefront, UKspace is striving for the formation of a National Space Programme with a £150 million-a-year innovation fund. The NSP’s aim would be to ensure that the space sector grows to play an increasingly large part in the global space market while the innovation fund provides a specific focus on funding R&D for new opportunities.
President of UKspace Will Whitehorn, commented: “Space has never been as important in tackling climate change and generating growth across the regions of the UK as it is today. Yet, if we do not get the investment conditions right, our ability to achieve our targets could be destabilised. The new technologies in creating space growth are upon us and must be utilised to help the UK become a powerhouse in tackling climate change”.
With Graham Peters, Chair of UKspace adding: “As the world wakes up to the devastating impact of climate change, the space industry is already equipping policymakers with tools to help monitor and improve the environment as never before. Now this analysis shows that the UK has an enormous opportunity to lead the world in using satellite technology to tackle climate change. By properly investing in the UK space industry, the UK could capitalise on a massive global market in environmental protection and monitoring, mitigating the effects of climate change and providing solutions to reduce carbon emissions. It would mean a new industrial revolution right here in the UK, creating thousands of new green jobs ranging from extreme weather data scientists and natural environment investment analysts to space-data enabled crop managers”.
Conservative MP David Morris, chair of the parliamentary group on space added his views stating: “The Prime Minister has made it clear that he wants us to come together with the courage and the technological ambition to solve man-made climate change. With a wave of new green technologies set to take off from space and thousands of green jobs in the pipeline, the UK space industry should be at the forefront of this agenda”.
The trustee of WWF UK, Andy Green CBE stated: “As the world steps up to the twin challenges of the climate emergency and restoring nature, only space technology can give us the global information we need to direct our efforts to the best effect. The UK has a real opportunity to lead the way in this area and increase the global impact of its commitment to nature”.