A new United Nations Environment Programme report indicates that a job boom resulting from the transition to a global low-carbon economy is already underway, and millions of new jobs will be created as the world goes green.
The UNEP is the voice for environment in the United Nations. Its mission is "to provide leadership and encourage partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing, and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations."
The new report, "Green Jobs: Can the Transition to Environmental Sustainability Spur New Kinds and Higher Levels of Employment?" presents the flip side of the concern that global warming and climate change will cause mass job losses and economic costs. Instead, this report concludes that the development of low-carbon technologies and business processes will produce millions of new jobs and myriad commercial opportunities.
"Millions of new jobs are among the many silver, if not indeed gold-plated, linings on the cloud of climate change," said Achim Steiner, UN under-secretary general and executive director of UNEP. "New research reveals that these jobs are not just for the middle classes - the so-called 'green collar' jobs - but also for workers in construction, sustainable forestry and agriculture to engineering and transportation."
"There's every indication that there will be a net gain [in jobs]," said Janos Pasztor, a senior UNEP official, when a draft of the report was presented last week at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bali.
Hundreds of thousands of green-related jobs have already been created in Germany and Spain, and it is estimated that 5.3 million environmental industry jobs were created in the U.S. just during 2005.
The UNEP report will be officially released next year.