SCOTLAND has the highest proportion of green financial job openings in the UK, according to a new report.

Accounting firm PwC worked in collaboration with the Financial Services Commission and the Aldersgate Group to explore the pivotal role of the financial services sector in achieving a net zero future.

They found a high concentration of green financial job opportunities in Scotland, with 5.6% of job openings classed as “green”.

While London boasted the largest absolute number of green financial jobs openings at 7000 in a year, Scotland had the highest proportion throughout the UK with 2200.

The National: Scotland outperformed London proportionallyScotland outperformed London proportionally (Image: City of London Corporation)

The report notes that both Scotland and London have emerged as global leaders in green and sustainable finance, attracting talent and investment that has fuelled substantial growth in their green economies.

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The proportion of job vacancies in the sector that are identified as green increased from 0.25% in the 2019-2020 timeframe to 2.2% in 2022-2023, growing from a total of 4900 jobs to 16,700.

Given the scale of the green investment needed to meet net zero goals in the UK and globally, this growth is expected to accelerate.

Experts stated that the growth in green job openings has been driven by two factors.

First, the creation of new green jobs in the finance sector such as sustainable investment analysts, climate strategists and environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) analysts.

And secondly, the greening of existing jobs.

Fraser Wilson, financial services leader at PwC Scotland, said: “Scotland’s position as a global leader in the transition to a green and sustainable economy is evidenced in our first-place ranking in the UK’s Green Growth Index and PwC’s Green Jobs Barometer – thanks to the country’s high proliferation of green jobs.

The National: The scale of investment needed in green technologies means more jobs in the sector are expectedThe scale of investment needed in green technologies means more jobs in the sector are expected

“This latest report demonstrates that the nation’s important role in ensuring a just energy transition goes beyond our strengths in the energy sector.

“Our financial services industry is thriving, with Scotland well-known as the UK’s largest financial hub outside of London, with Edinburgh in particular leading the way in terms of its collaborative approach to developing green talent in order to support a sustainable financial system.

“In that respect, it’s no surprise to see that Scotland has ample opportunities available for green talent in the sector, with the highest proportion of green finance roles in the country."

Jason Higgs, environment, social and governance leader at PwC Scotland, added: “It goes without saying that, to make the most of the green job opportunities available, we need the right skill and talent available – and so the skills gap that is emerging in line with the continuing growth of green and nature finance must be addressed.

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“Green skills are no longer a niche specialisation, but rather are now core to jobs in financial services.

"In Scotland, educational institutions like the University of Edinburgh, Heriot-Watt and Napier are actively promoting a sustainable and ethical financial system, nurturing a skilled workforce for the future.

“However, moving forward, collaboration between government, education and the sector itself will be key to ensure students and graduates are equipped for moving into a changing workforce, and that our existing sector workforce can readily reskill to take on the opportunities available.”

It comes after research indicated that jobs in Scotland’s renewable energy sector rocketed by more than 50% in 2021.