Net jobs gain from a low carbon economy

Tens of millions of new jobs could be created by governments investing in low carbon technologies, according to a new report published by the Global Climate Network. The report argues that the bolder government policies to promote rapid growth in climate-friendly innovations and industries are, the higher the likelihood of a net increase in jobs, with new jobs possibly outstripping eliminated dirty jobs by a ratio of 4 to 1.

Creating Opportunity, an interim report from an ongoing study by the Global Climate Network (GCN) of think tanks, argues plans by G20 governments should be strongly focused on creating markets for low carbon technologies. This, argues the report, will serve the dual purpose of creating extra jobs in renewable energy, information technology and service sectors as well as helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions. While jobs will be lost in conventional, carbon-intensive sectors, the GCN’s research shows that more jobs will be created than lost provided government policies are bold enough.

The report notes a low carbon global economy could lead to a net gain of millions of jobs. While not making an explicit reference to “just transition”, a key demand of trade unions to protect those whose jobs are targeted for phase-out, the interim findings include a recognition that the job loss issue must be addressed.

“Jobs will, however, be lost as economies shift to low carbon. It is therefore important policies are in place to assist people who lose jobs, including financial and retraining support, and better still if job losses are minimised through a strong government response,” the report notes.

Creating Opportunity: Low carbon jobs in an interconnected world is available to download at the Global Climate Network website.

International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC)‘s new website on climate change

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