Construction groups march to Downing Street to demand government support for UK's renewable industries

A group of 'green collar' workers have marched to Downing Street demanding urgent funding for sustainable construction ahead of the Budget.

The group, which included the FMB and PV industry body, called for government investment in renewable energy. It said backing for renewables could create 100,000 construction jobs in the solar photovoltaic sector alone.

Green collar workers

Jeremy Leggett, executive chairman of PV manufacturer Solarcentury, said that Alistair Darling had to lead a 'big assault on energy efficiency' in the Budget.

He said: "This will create jobs and reduce the size of the hill faced by renewable industries."

The groups called on the government to restart the Low Carbon Building Programme, which had £14m of funds left unspent when it was suspended in March.

Leggett said inconsistent funding for green technology was leading to a loss of jobs in the sector. He said: "We're losing jobs in the fastest growing energy industry in the world. It beggars belief."

"The UK can ill afford to lose a single skilled solar engineer or electrcian but the government appears to be sleep-walking to a green tech job loss disaster of its own making."

The Federation of Master builders, National Federation of Roofing Contractors and UK PV Manufacturers Association also voiced their demands for an eco-friendly budget.

Brian Berry, the FMB's director of external affairs said: "If the Government is to cut carbon emissions by 80% by 2050, it must have a clear strategy for our existing homes, which are responisble for 27% of the UK's emissions."

Jeremy Leggett calls for Budget support on 'green collar' workers