A Green Economy Could Create 18 Million Jobs, UN report says

The UN estimates, in a report released Tuesday, that the fight against global warming would create 18 million jobs by 2030. But the consequences of this transition are not the same for all.

The fight against global warming is good for the economy. Since COP21, the Paris climate summit of 2015, this assertion is being repeated by politicians and business circles. But how much?

To this question, the International Labor Organization (ILO) responds, in a study published Tuesday, May 15, that it would allow the net creation of 18 million jobs in the world by 2030.

The UN body – which brings together representatives of Member States, employers and workers – has studied the impact that the effort to keep rising temperatures below 2 ° C could have on 163 economic sectors . The bad news is that it would destroy six million jobs, mostly in the oil and mining industry. The good thing is that it would create 24 million new jobs.

Africa lagging behind

The building and construction sectors (new materials and infrastructure renewal), renewable energy production and organic agriculture should be the main winners of this transition to a “green” economy. But the ILO ensures that “for the vast majority of sectors, the balance [the difference between destruction and job creation] will be positive”.

But green is not the color of hope for everyone. For Europe, America and Asia this transition would be a boon. But the fight against global warming could lead to net destruction of 300,000 jobs in the Middle East and 350,000 in Africa. In the first case, the ILO blames the dependence of the Gulf countries on the oil industry, while in the second, the organization questions the importance of the mining sector.

However, this darker scenario for the African continent is not inevitable. Indeed, if the governments of the states concerned put adaptation to the new climate reality at the top of their political action, then the “green” transition could also be beneficial for employment in this region.

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