A new report has determined that investments in energy-efficient and renewable energy sources yield more jobs for a set amount of spending than investing in maintaining or expanding the fossil fuel industry.
The report, Global Green Growth: Clean Energy Industrial Investment and Expanding Job Opportunities, was published earlier this week and presented at the Vienna Energy Forum 2015 by its two authors, the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).
“Significant progress has already been made in overcoming the hitherto conventional wisdom that taking steps to cut GHGs is incompatible with economic growth,” said Yvo de Boer, Director-General of GGGI. “This report moves the debate another positive step forward by showing that employment and development result from sustainable, green growth.”
“As of 2010, total world greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions amounted to about 45,000 million metric tons (mmt),” the authors of the report open. “In order to control climate change, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimates that total emissions will need to fall by about 40% as of 2030, to 27,000 mmt, and by 80% by 2050, to about 9,000 mmt. Of the 45,000 mmt of total GHG emissions, about 82% are generated by energy-based sources. This includes 33,615 in CO2 emissions from energy sources, equaling about 75% percent of total GHG emissions itself.”
The report aims to provide measures that will reduce CO2 emissions from energy-based sources by examining policy frameworks through which these targets can be reached. Focusing on the need for large-scale development of renewable energy and energy efficiency also allowed the authors of the report to assess the employment impacts of such development in five key countries — Brazil, Germany, Indonesia, South Africa, and the Republic of Korea.
“The results in the five countries presented in this report show clearly that green growth investments are not just viable or beneficial for the most highly-industrialized countries,” said LI Yong, Director General of UNIDO. “On the contrary, all countries, be they developed or developing, can derive significant benefits from investments in clean and renewable energy.”