THE WAY Cumbria develops and retains skills will be vital for a green recovery after Covid-19, say business and political leaders.

That was one of the conclusions of a recent online forum, attended by MPs Trudy Harrison and Tim Farron, Baroness Sue Hayman, and head of emerging policy at energy regulator, Ofgem, Chris Brown.

Also attending was Paul Bircham, regulation director of Electricity North West, who said: “Covid has dominated the news over the past year but climate change remains, potentially, our biggest challenge as a society. 

"By driving clean growth, we can create good jobs and new skills so that the economic and environmental recoveries benefit everybody, including those in society in vulnerable circumstances.”

To do this, he said Electricity North West had already accelerated some of its own infrastructure projects, designed to ease the transition towards becoming a net zero carbon economy. 

Chairing the discussion, Jo Lappin chief executive of the Cumbria LEP said that everybody, including consumers, the business community and political leaders, now accepted that achieving net zero carbon was essential for both the environment and the economy.

She added: "Everyone here recognises that Cumbria is ideally placed to lead a green recovery and wants to make this happen, and we need investment and policy to catalyse this. 

We all recognise that no one organisation can do this on its own, we all need to work together to make this happen.”