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A green economy will create millions of jobs


Translated Thursday 23 October 2008, by Kieran O’Meara


A “green” economy will create millions of jobs.


A prospective study for the International Labour Organisation gives the lie to the “eco-worriers”.

A “green” economy will not destroy jobs, it will create a lot of them. That is according to the International Labour Organisation’s report, Green Jobs: Towards Decent work in a Sustainable, Low-Carbon World. The study was carried out along with the United Nations Environment Programme and the Worldwatch Institute. Its aim is to evaluate, looking ahead to 2030, the benefits of “a second great transformation of economies and societies, as far-reaching as the first transformation brought about the Industrial Revolution”. The verdict: it WILL pay off. Green jobs, which “contribute to conserving or restoring the quality of the environment,” [1] number in the millions. From now on, it is no longer a question for the authorities of opposing economic growth to the environment. All the more so since “there is evidence for the viability and potential of green across the entire workforce”. [2]. So, “the global market for environmental products and services is projected to double from $1,370 billion at present to $2,470 billion by 2020”. [3]. In Germany, for example, environmental technology is projected to increase four-fold by 2030 and overtake car and machine-tool manufacture, the core of the German economy. Moreover “investments in improved energy efficiency in buildings could generate an additional 2-3.5 million green jobs in Europe and the United States alone” [4], with an even greater potential in developing countries. Finally, investments in renewable sources of energy could “translate into at least 20 million additional jobs” — that is to say more than are currently employed in fossil energies.

The ILO underline a downside to this: “many existing green jobs are of poor quality”, and in the recycling, construction and bio-fuel sectors , “are often informal in nature”. [5].

[1Translator’s note- ILO report in English, page 2

[2Trans- ILO report English, page 12

[3Trans-ILO report, page 13

[4Trans- ibid


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