It makes perfect sense that overhauling our economy to fight climate change will inevitably produce jobs. After all, someone has to manufacture, produce, sell, and maintain all those turbines, solar panels, electric cars, and fuel cells. Now three new studies from the Climate Group, Greenpeace and the European Renewable Energy Council (EREC), and the Global Climate Network have confirmed that a green economy produces jobs.
The Global Climate Network study, released today, reiterates the conclusions of the first two studies–that millions of jobs could be generated from the war on global warming. But while Greenpeace estimates that climate change could produce 2.7 million jobs in the EU and the Climate Group predicts an influx of 10 million jobs worldwide by 2020, the Global Climate Network makes the ambitious claim that 30 million new jobs could be created by 2020, mostly in Germany, Japan, China, Brazil, and the U.S. (Forty million cleantech-related jobs are expected to be created, but 10 million jobs related to inefficient technologies will be lost in the same time period.)
There are a bunch of big “ifs” involved in the Climate Group’s equation, however. The burgeoning green economy will only grow as fast as the Climate Group expects if renewable energy generation markets and a focus on low-carbon technology ramp up in China. And the study points out that “The dynamism of technology is inherently unpredictable and numbers of jobs created by prioritizing technology could be many times greater than current predictions suggest.” Time to spruce up that resume and apply to the local solar company.