A recent report by the United Nations (UN) estimates up to 60 million green jobs being created across the globe.
Going green may soon power the global economy by creating up to 60 million new green jobs, according to a recent report out of the United Nations (UN). Over the next two decades it is anticipated that countries large and small will look to invest in a cleaner environment, reducing waste and producing economic gains from green technologies. Energy efficiency jobs and renewable energy careers were highlighted as growth leaders in a greener economy, especially within emerging markets.
Critics of the green economy have often commented that growth in green jobs will simply mean losses in other sectors, such as coal fired power plants or fossil fuel production. The heads of the respective UN organizations behind the study noted that while some job losses will likely occur, 0.5 percent to 2 percent in total global employment gains is possible. Green job gains are going to be focused in fishing, energy, manufacturing, recycling, forestry, agriculture along with building and transportation sectors. Half of the global workforce or 1.5 billion people are likely going to be affected by the move to a greener global economy.
The Director for the UN’s International Labor Organization (ILO), General Juan Somavia said “We don’t have to choose between protecting the environment and creating jobs.” Developing countries could benefit from a greener economy which may also help alleviate poverty. For example, farmers can reduce their environmental impact while boosting production, this tactic has proven to be successful in countries such as Uganda and Madagascar. Similarly, it has been shown to be more cost effective to use solar panel installations for the nearly 2 billion people without access to power than it would be to extend the existing electrical grid.
Bringing clean and abundant energy to populations that once had to live without it could increase social inclusion, leading to greater economic productivity for these regions. In terms of the larger, more modern populations, green jobs can lead to energy independence, reduction of landfill waste and lower carbon footprints. A force of economic and environmental change is upon us, many will fight it, many will embrace it, the question is – what will you do?