Clean energy will create more jobs than fossil fuel, says UN report

Report counters claims that cutting emissions is incompatible with growth

 

Naturally, a major concern that many people feel about decarbonising the energy industry is that it will result in job losses, at a time when global recovery is still faltering.

But new research by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) and the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) argues that a commitment of 1.5 per cent of GDP per year to renewable energy would not only be able to maintain economic growth at a healthy rate, it would create more jobs than maintaining the fossil fuel industry.

The 1.5 percent commitment  is necessary to  meet the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s targets for carbon emissions: a 50 per cent reduction by 2030, and an 80 per cent reduction by 2050.

The report explores the impact of clean energy investment on emerging and current economic powers. It finds that for every $1 million spent, clean energy investments generate, on average, about 37 jobs in Brazil, 10 jobs in Germany, 100 jobs in Indonesia, 70 jobs in South Africa, and 15 jobs in South Korea.

Crucially, the report states that:

“New investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy will generate more jobs for a given amount of spending than maintaining or expanding each country’s existing fossil fuel sectors.”

It finds that in Brazil, Indonesia, and South Africa, the net employment gains for clean energy investments will be ‘substantial’; although they are more modest in Germany and South Korea, building a clean energy economy will in all cases be a net positive source of job creation.

Interestingly, the report also raises the issue of gender imbalance. It finds that employment in clean energy areas is currently heavily male dominated in all five countries studied, due to the role played by manufacturing and construction.

It suggests that advancing major clean energy initiatives in these countries, as well as elsewhere, could be a chance to open up job opportunities for women in traditionally male strongholds.

Read the full UNIDO report here.

Ruby Stockham is a staff writer at Left Foot Forward. Follow her on Twitter

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59 Responses to “Clean energy will create more jobs than fossil fuel, says UN report”

  1. Jim Fox

    Source for that ridiculous claim?

  2. Jim Fox

    ” He represents an awful lot of people”

    Who, ‘gunnerbear’? He represents NOBODY.

    Or did you mean “He represents a lot of awful people”??

  3. steroflex

    Don’t be downhearted. My lot in life has cast me in the aspirational lower middle class. You speak for a lot of people. I know that if the Labour Party cannot be bothered with people like us, then it is onto a loser as people look at the many alternatives (cp Ukip cp SNP cp EDL cp BNP).

  4. gunnerbear

    The fact that a large proportion of those questioning the Green agenda – which govts. love as it gives them a chance to tax more and regulate more for everything – have to seek out private cash. Plus of course there is the attitude of ‘green scientists’ themselves who are prepared to redefine peer-review to stop green sceptics publishing….. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/environment/globalwarming/6636563/University-of-East-Anglia-emails-the-most-contentious-quotes.html …so in that arena and given those attitudes, how easy do you think it is for sceptics to get non-private funding?

  5. gunnerbear

    The fact that a large proportion of those questioning the Green agenda – which govts. love as it gives them a chance to tax more and regulate more for everything – have to seek out private cash. Plus of course there is the attitude of ‘green scientists’ themselves who are prepared to redefine peer-review to stop green sceptics publishing….. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/environment/globalwarming/6636563/University-of-East-Anglia-emails-the-most-contentious-quotes.html …so in that arena and given those attitudes, how easy do you think it is for sceptics to get non-private funding?

  6. gunnerbear

    Except of course a modern coal fired power station tends to keep the lights on and is controllable and switchable. Utterly unlike wind power in fact.

  7. gunnerbear

    stevep, This do you then for the Greens are really all about…. “Climate policy has almost nothing to do anymore with environmental protection, says the German economist and IPCC official Ottmar Edenhofer. The next world climate summit in Cancun is actually an economy summit during which the distribution of the world’s resources will be negotiated.” – Ottmar Edenhofer By siding with the Greens Labour want to put me and thousands like me working in heavy industry out of a job. It’s as simple as that.

  8. gunnerbear

    Really, this might suggest otherwise… “Climate policy has almost nothing to do anymore with environmental protection, says the German economist and IPCC official Ottmar Edenhofer. The next world climate summit in Cancun is actually an economy summit during which the distribution of the world’s resources will be negotiated.” – Ottmar Edenhofer

    As I said to steve p in another post, by siding with the Greens, Labour want to put me and thousands like me working in heavy industry out of a job. It’s as simple as that……so f**k Labour (the Blues and Yellows are no better either).

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