Workers in the offshore oil, gas and renewable sector of the United Kingdom demand for public ownership in energy companies, in order to ensure that jobs, communities, and the environment remains protected amid the country’s net-zero transition. This move comes along the heels of concerns arising due to Britain’s shift away from fossil fuels to low-carbon energy resources and the ability to generate green jobs in operations, production, and manufacturing.
This call also builds on demands from a coalition of unions, offshore workers and climate campaigners urging the government to promote the shift to low-carbon energy sources. According to the report, Our Power: Offshore Workers, the demands include, guarantee of government jobs, equal pay for migrant workers and a passport for offshore training which will retrain workers in the renewables sector.
Concern is also being expressed about the UK’s ability to create more green jobs in production and operations. Industry data shows a significant increase in the number of jobs created in the renewable energy sector, recorded as four times more than the average employment in the UK’s market. More than one-third of these roles are situated in London and the South-East.
Several offshore workers have expressed their support of the demands made, claiming that public ownership would lead to more permanent work, contracts, better treatment for workers, and preservation of the working environment.
Head of the UK government’s net zero review, Chris Skidmore, has commented that the government should replace the windfall tax of oil and gas in the North Sea with a net-zero fund that would allocate proceeds to invest in offshore wind and other low carbon based projects.
Various unions are also supporting the demands of the workers, including Unison Scotland, in addition to other climate groups such as Uplift and Friends of Earth Scotland.