Dr. Avnish Jolly, 3rd Octuber, 2008 :According to recent UN report, India can generate nine lakh jobs by 2025 in the area of biogas alone, of which three lakh would be in the manufacturing of stoves and six lakh in areas such as processing into briquettes and pellets and the fuel supply chain. The Worldwatch Institute produced it with technical assistance from the Cornell University Global Labour Institute.
"The global market for environmental products and services is projected to double from US $1.37 trillion per year at present to US $2.74 trillion by 2020, creating millions of new green jobs," the report said and investments in improved energy efficiency in buildings could generate an additional 2-3.5 million green jobs in Europe and the US alone, with the potential much higher in developing countries, it said. Recycling and waste management employ an estimated 10 million in China and five lakh in Brazil today, and this sector is expected to grow rapidly in many countries in the face of escalating commodity prices.
Half of this market is in energy efficiency and the balance in sustainable transport, water supply, sanitation and waste management, it added. Called ‘Green Jobs: Towards Decent work in a Sustainable, Low-Carbon World’, the report was commissioned by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) under a joint Green Jobs Initiative with the International Labour Office (ILO), the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) and the International Organisation of Employers (IOE).
However, the report also finds that the process of climate change, already underway, will continue to have negative effects on workers and their families, especially those whose livelihoods depend on agriculture and tourism. The report says too few green jobs are being created for the most vulnerable: the 1.3 billion working poor (43 per cent of the global workforce) in the world with earnings too low to lift them and their dependants above the poverty threshold of US $2 per person, per day, or for the estimated 500 million youth who will be seeking work over the next 10 years.
The report say that climate change, adaptation to it and efforts to arrest it by reducing emissions have far-reaching implications for economic and social development, for production and consumption patterns and thus for employment, incomes and poverty reduction. Sectors that will be particularly important in terms of their environmental, economic and employment impact are energy supply, in particular renewable energy, buildings and construction, transportation, basic industries, agriculture and forestry, the report said.
According to the report, clean technologies are already the third largest sector for venture capital after information and biotechnology in the US, while green venture capital in China more than doubled to 19 per cent of total investment in recent years. 2.3 million people have in recent years found new jobs in the renewable energy sector alone, and the potential for job growth in the sector is huge. Employment in alternative energies may rise to 2.1 million in wind and 6.3 million in solar power by 2030.
The report pointed out that renewable energy generates more jobs than employment in fossil fuels and projected investments of US $630 billion by 2030 would translate into at least 20 million additional jobs in the renewable energy sector. A worldwide transition to energy-efficient buildings would create millions of jobs, as well as "greening" existing employment for many of the estimated 111 million people already working in the construction sector, the report stressed.