Global Spotlight Report #31: Green Jobs

Global Spotlight Report #31: Green Jobs

Introduction

At Climate Scorecard we feel that green jobs ought to be a proxy measure for the development of green economies around the world; that data on the amount of an economy’s green jobs can serve as an indicator of the extent to which countries are investing in low and zero carbon technologies. So we asked our Country Managers in 19 leading greenhouse gas emitting countries to provide us with information about the status of green jobs in their countries.

Do these jobs constitute a significant percentage of the country’s labor force? Are they trending upwards? Are their policies in place that support the growth in green jobs?

The answers to these questions vary a great deal. As countries start to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, growth in green jobs depends largely on the degree to which investment in green businesses and technologies get incorporated into national economic recovery plans. Countries like Japan, Ukraine, and Mexico are notable for not focusing on new green industry/green jobs policies and in their economic recovery policies. However, in some countries, such as Russia, Saudi Arabia and the United States, a lack of political will is impeding the growth of green jobs.

In some countries the commitment to green job growth is impressive. For example, in Canada green jobs appear in 90% of the jobs listed in Canada’s occupational codes. In China, green jobs account for 39% of the world’s renewable energy sector green jobs. Nigeria’s “Bouncing Back,” post COVID-19 economic recovery plan focuses on green jobs and investments in green industries.

It is difficult to find a consistent marker to measure the growth in green jobs across countries. Perhaps the most promising indicator is to track the percentage of green jobs of total jobs in a country. It seems that most countries are averaging between 3% and 6%. For example, in Brazil green jobs represent 6% of total jobs; in France that number is between 3-4%; in Spain green jobs are 2.4% of total GDP.

I urge you to read the Country Reports that follow. They provide interesting and useful information about the degree to which leading greenhouse gas emitting countries are investing in green jobs.

Ron Israel
Director
Climate Scorecard
www.climatescorecard.com


Country Reports

Green Job Opportunities in Australia Being Ignored By Current Government

Despite Australia’s status as the biggest exporter of fossil fuels in the world, there are relatively few Australian jobs in fossil fuel extraction. The “mining” sector – which covers coal and mineral ore mining, as well as oil and gas extraction – makes up only 1.9% (~250,000) of Australia’s labour force. But mining (and especially…

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Green Jobs are a Growing Part of Brazil’s Economy but the Government Could Do More to Encourage Green Job Growth

Green jobs (or as it is called in Portuguese “emprego verde”) are already a huge part of Brazil’s economy. According to a study that formed the basis for a master thesis defended recently at the university of São Paulo[1], Brazil currently has over 6.5 million jobs linked to considered green environmental sectors in the Brazilian…

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Green Jobs Appear in 90% of the 500 Jobs Listed in Canada’s Occupational Codes

Green Jobs Profile As Canada’s Columbia Institute explains, countries worldwide are planning the “decarbonizing” of infrastructure, industries, and economies as part of their commitment to the Paris Agreement. This shift is gaining momentum and will impact all sectors of our society to a more sustainable future. The transitioning to a green economy driven by automation…

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China Leads Green Jobs in Renewable Energy Sector

Green jobs have been on China’s agenda since 2006, when it became one of the first member countries to collaborate with the International Labor Organization (ILO) in conducting research on and formulating measures to create green jobs. Since then, China has prioritized green development, e.g. energy efficiency in industry, transportation, and buildings; development of wind,…

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EU Focus on the Bioeconomy Holds Great Promise for the Growth of Green Jobs

Eco-industry has played a large role in the sustenance of the EU’s economy. The European Environment State and Outlook Report (SOER), which analyzed Europe’s green industries between 2000 and 2010, found that Europe’s green industries grew by 50%, despite the prevalence of economic busts during the time. In 2014, 4.2 million people in the EU…

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Green Jobs in France Seem to be Rapidly Increasing

Green jobs in France fall under the umbrella label of green economy, l’économie verte. This concept comprises, on the one hand, green jobs (emplois verts) including both directly environmentally beneficial jobs (éco-activités) and jobs that contribute to a beneficial environmental impact (activités périphériques); and on the other hand, ‘greening jobs’ (emplois verdissants), referring to traditional…

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Green Jobs are Key Contributors to Preserve the Environment in India

Because India has been an agrarian economy, ‘green jobs’ have long existed in the country. However, the phenomena of green jobs attracted the attention of academia and policy makers after initiatives of UNEP and ILO and the publication of the report on “Green Jobs: Towards Decent Work in a Sustainable, Low Carbon World”. A green…

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The Global Economic Slowdown Threatens the Growth of Green Jobs in Japan

Climate adaptation and resilience stand out as rapidly emerging areas of employment as the effects of climate change are felt worldwide. According to the UNEP, green jobs are defined as “positions in agriculture, manufacturing, R&D, administrative, and service activities aimed at substantially preserving or restoring environmental quality”. They seek to protect the environment and conserve…

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4.5% of Mexico’s Workforce Have Green Jobs

According to the International Labor organization (ILO), Green Jobs are those that produce a product or service related to environmental conservation and management, that make processes more sustainable within any industry and that have decent work conditions. Thus, green jobs are those that have an environmental component and include decent work conditions. Green jobs are…

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COVID-19 Offers Chance to Press Reset Button on Green Jobs in Nigeria

Nigeria, a developing country with an economic dependency on oil, will always struggle in the green job sector without any substantial change in policy. Currently, the country has a combined unemployment (27.1%) and underemployment (28.6%) rate of 55.7%. On top of this, Nigeria has an over reliance on oil, which is shown by the direct…

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Green Jobs Have Great Potential but are Not Yet Widespread in Russia

Estimating the number of “green” jobs created in Russia is difficult, in part due to the fact that such a concept as a “green” workplace is not yet widespread in Russia. The Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of the Russian Federation makes no mention of “green” jobs anywhere in its open sources.  Methodological approaches…

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Lack of Political Will and Skilled Labor Shortage Might Impede the Growth of Green Jobs in the Kingdom

Saudi Arabia’s green jobs market is developing as Saudi Aramco, the country’s largest employer, is implementing sustainable initiatives that will generate green jobs within the energy industry. This initiative has four components: energy efficiency, environmental performance, human capital development, and commercial ecosystems. Within the company’s Flare Minimization Program, multiple flare gas recovery systems are installed…

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South Africa Lacks the Research Needed to Support the Growth of Green Jobs

South Africa does not report green jobs independently in any of its major surveys or statistics of employment, nor does it report the growth of green industries. There is not an official agreed definition of green jobs, either. However, there have been significant efforts from different organizations to measure the role of the green economy…

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Green Jobs Have Not Yet Surged in Spain, But Have Great Potential

The Spanish job market is notable for its economic downturn during the 2008 recession, which led to a 6-year-long financial crisis, also known as the Great Recession or the Great Spanish Depression. While much of the world also suffered in 2008, the Spanish crisis lasted much longer and dug itself more deeply into Spanish society…

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A New Green Infrastructure Policy in Turkey Will Stimulate the Creation of Green Jobs

In the 2012 Rio+20 Sustainable Development Conference, sectors closely related to environmental sustainability are listed as agriculture, forestry, fishing, renewable energy, resource intensive production, recycling, construction and transportation. Turkey’s presentation at this Conference introduced its approach to green jobs. It identified the following sectors for creating green jobs: power generation from waste heat, water and…

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Green Jobs are Needed in More than Just the Energy Sector in Ukraine

At the moment, the government of Ukraine does not focus on developing “green” jobs, as well as the development of a green economy. But even without support at the national level, green jobs develop in different sectors. The concept of “green jobs” is almost never discussed in Ukraine, even in public debate. When green jobs…

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The Rate of Growth of Green Jobs in the US Depends on the Election Outcome

The 2019 U.S. Energy and Employment Report found that the U.S. Traditional Energy and Energy Efficiency sectors employed “approximately 6.7 million Americans or 4.6% of a workforce of roughly 147 million” in 2018, an increase of 2.3% from the previous year. Of these, solar and wind employed a total of 343,000 full-time workers, though solar…

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