According to the United Nations Environment Program : ” The transformation to a greener economy could generate 15 to 60 million additional jobs globally over the next two decades and lift tens of millions of workers out of poverty. “
Filled with plenty of interesting facts and figures, UNEP’s latest report – Working towards sustainable development: Opportunities for decent work and social inclusion in a green economy – is simply a must read.
But to unleash this massive potential, countries all around the world have to set up the right policies as soon as possible. And this is the biggest problem.
Here is a quick roundup of the main findings :
- In the EU alone, 14.6 million direct and indirect jobs exist in the protection of biodiversity and rehabilitation of natural resources and forests ;
- The targeted international investments of US$ 30 billion/year into reduced deforestation and degradation of forests could sustain up to 8 million additional full-time workers in developing countries ;
- Overuse of natural resources has already caused large losses, including over a million jobs for forest workers, mainly in Asia because of unsustainable forest management practices. The National Rural Employment Guarantee Act in India and the social housing and ‘green grants’ programmes in Brazil are good examples of social protection policies that contribute to sustainable development ;
- Women could be among the main beneficiaries of a greener, more socially inclusive economy, with better access to opportunities to jobs, for example in renewable energy, higher incomes ;
- A mere 8-12 per cent of the workforce in industrialized countries, for example, is employed in the 10-15 industries generating 70-80 per cent of CO2 emissions.