Research shows the challenge of climate change also presents
opportunities for new industries and employment, according to Aim
Steiner, U.N. under- secretary general and executive director of
the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP).
"Millions of new jobs are among the many silver, if not indeed
gold-plated linings on the clouds of climate change," he was quoted
as saying in a press release on Thursday in Bali, a resort island
of Indonesia, where a two-week U.N. climate change conference was
going on in a bid to set up a roadmap for negotiations on a new
climate change deal before the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012.
"New research reveals that these jobs are not for just the
middle classes -- the so-called 'green collar jobs'-- but also for
workers in construction, sustainable forestry and agriculture to
engineering and transportation."
"Talk of environmental sustainability and climate change often
emphasizes the costs, but downplays the significant employment
opportunities from the transition to a global economy that is not
only resource efficient and without the huge emissions of
greenhouse gases, but one that also restores environmental and
social values," Steiner said.
He was referring to the preliminary draft report "Green Jobs:
Can the transition to Environmental Sustainability Spur New Kinds
and Higher levels of Employment?" that was commissioned by the
UNEP, in ground breaking partnership with the International Labor
Organization (ILO) and the International Trade Union Confederation
(ITUC). The final report will be released early next year.
According to the report, China is the global leader in solar
heating. With combined sales revenues of about 2.5 billion U.S.
dollars in 2005, more than 1,000 Chinese manufacturers employed
more than 150,000 people. Future estimates of installed capacity
mean employment could grow substantially in this area.
In Europe, a 20 percent increase in energy efficiency would
create about a million jobs. The same applies in emerging and
The Indian city of Dehli is introducing new eco-friendly
compressed natural gas buses that will create an additional 18,000
In the U.N. alone, the environmental industry in 2005 generated
more than 5.3 million jobs -- 10 times the number in the U.S.
The ethanol program in Brazil has created half a million jobs
and its bio-diesel program is specifically designed to benefit
hundreds of thousands of mostly poor smallholder farmers.
By the year 2020, Germany will have more jobs in the field of
environmental technologies than in its entire automotive industry,
according to research of the report.
(Xinhua News Agency December 7, 2007)