The Inspirer staff
Compared to the business-as-usual scenario, changes in energy production and use to limit global warming to 2°C can create around 18 million jobs throughout the world economy, a new report called “World Employment Social Outlook 2018, Greening With Jobs” reveals.
These changes include a shift towards renewable energy sources and greater efficiency, the projected adoption of electric vehicles and construction work to achieve greater energy efficiency in buildings, indicates the report by the International Labour Organization (ILO) was launched on Monday, May 14, 2018 in Geneva.
The report shows the green economy will be a major source of job growth in the future of work that achieving environmental sustainability can create jobs, highlighting that achieving environmental sustainability can create jobs.
This net job growth in employment, the publication says, results from the creation of some 24 million new jobs and the loss of around 6 million jobs by 2030.
Promoting sustainability in agriculture will change rural economies: a shift to conservation agriculture may shed jobs in the sector but improve the quality of employment therein, while a shift to organic agriculture may create jobs, though at the expense of increased land use pressure.
The central aim of Paris Agreement – adopted in 2015 by leaders of various nations across the world – is to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by keeping a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius
The ILO report states that the transition in agriculture requires complementary policies to ensure that it is an opportunity for workers and economies. The circular economy is a model for sustainability in resource use and consumption.
Almost 6 million jobs can be created by moving away from an extract-manufacture-use-discard model and embracing the recycling, reuse, remanufacture, rental and longer durability of goods.
Notably, it means a reallocation from the mining and manufacturing sectors to waste management (recycling) and services (repair, rent).
Currently, 1.2 billion jobs rely directly on the effective management and sustainability of a healthy environment, in particular jobs in farming, fishing and forestry dependent on natural processes such as air and water purification, soil renewal and fertilization, pollination, pest control, the moderation of extreme temperatures, and protection against storms, floods and strong winds, according to the survey.
Environmental degradation threatens these ecosystem services and the jobs that depend on them, warns the report.
“The findings of our report underline that jobs rely heavily on a healthy environment and the services that it provides. The green economy can enable millions more people to overcome poverty, and deliver improved livelihoods for this and future generations. This is a very positive message of opportunity in a world of complex choices,” ILO Deputy Director-General Deborah Greenfield said at the launch.
The negative impact of rising temperatures is unevenly distributed across sub-regions. Southern Asia and Western Africa will be most affected, with productivity losses equivalent to 4.8 per cent and 4.6 per cent, corresponding to around 40 and 9 million full-time jobs, respectively. In contrast, European subregions are expected to experience a smaller impact.
Agricultural workers will be the worst affected; they will account for 66 per cent of global hours lost due to heat stress in 2030, in view of the physical nature of their work, which it is undertaken outside, and the fact that a large number of workers are engaged in agriculture in the areas most affected by future heat stress.
“We may soon reach the point in which the jobs created or improved by economic development risk being destroyed or worsened by the resulting environmental degradation. The world of work needs environmental sustainability. Social justice requires it, given the large inequalities in the impact of the negative effects of environmental degradation,” the report reads in part.
Warning: dependency on fossil fuels could lead to job loss
At the regional level, there will be net job creation in the Americas, Asia and the Pacific and Europe, representing some 3 million, 14 million and 2 million jobs respectively, resulting from measures taken in the production and use of energy.
In contrast, there could be net job losses in the Middle East (-0.48 per cent) and Africa (-0.04 per cent) if current trends continue, due to the dependence of these regions on fossil fuel and mining, respectively.
The report calls on countries to take urgent action to train workers in the skills needed for the transition to a greener economy, and provide them with social protection that facilitates the transition to new jobs, contributes to preventing poverty and reduces the vulnerability of households and communities.
“Policy changes in these regions could offset the anticipated job losses or their negative impact. Low- and some middle- income countries still need support to develop data collection, and adopt and finance strategies towards a just transition to an environmentally sustainable economy and society that includes everyone from all groups of society,” says Catherine Saget, the lead author of the report.
Measures taken in the production and use of energy, for example, will lead to job losses of around 6 million as well as the creation of some 24 million jobs.