Green Job Opportunities

Sustainability Breeds Job Creation

Written by Brian Hicks
Posted June 5, 2012

A UN-sponsored report recently stated that tens of millions of jobs could be created worldwide within the next 20 years if sustainable living and renewable energy policies replaced the antiquated high-carbon economy.

As reported in the Guardian UK, anywhere from 15 to 60 million new jobs could be created in a low-carbon economy.

According to Achim Steiner of the United Nations Environment Programme (Unep), the “findings underline that the green economy can include millions more people in terms of overcoming poverty and delivering improved livelihoods for this and future generations. It is a positive message of opportunity in a troubled world of challenges.”

Currently there are about three million “green jobs” as labeled by the report. The jobs range from the wind sector to energy efficiency while that number is close to a million in the UK. In Brazil, roughly three million are currently working in the sector with numbers expected to rise as Brazil continues to transition to more renewable energy sources. However, for countries to reap the full benefits of the job growth that would come with a low-carbon economy, countries need to introduce policies that will help bring in solid investment.

Juan Somavia, the director general of the International Labor Organization (which was the co-author of the report) recently stated that, “Environmental sustainability is not a job killer, as it is sometimes claimed. On the contrary, if properly managed, it can lead to more and better jobs, poverty reduction and social inclusion.” In addition, the report found that sustainable management could help stave off potential job losses as well as better resource management.